The Anglican Way

EARLY ENGLISH CHURCH

[Pictured: Pope St. Gregory I (the Great)]

 

Anglicans trace their Christian roots back to the early Church.  The word "Anglican" means "of England", but the Anglican Church exists worldwide. We find our origins in the sixth century in England, when Pope Gregory the Great sent St. Augustine to Britain to bring a more disciplined apostolic succession to the Celtic Christians.  The Anglican Church evolved as part of the Roman Church, but the Celtic influence, which was already present throughout the English Isles, was absorbed into the Roman portion of the church, perhaps most notably by Charlemagne's tutor Aidan.  The Anglican Church spread worldwide, first by English colonization, and then by English-speaking missionaries.

 

Historically, there were two main stages in the development and spread of the Communion. Beginning with the seventeenth century, Anglicanism was established alongside colonisation in the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa. The second stage began in the 18th century when missionaries worked to establish Anglican churches in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

THE ANGLICAN COMMUNION

[Picture: St. Augustine of Canterbury, 1st Archbishop of Caterbury]

 

Anglicans uphold the Catholic and Apostolic faith. Following the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Churches are committed to the proclamation of the good news of the Gospel to the whole creation. In practice this is based on the revelation contained in Holy Scripture and the Catholic creeds, and is interpreted in light of Christian tradition, scholarship, reason and experience.

 

As a worldwide family of churches, the Anglican Communion has more than 70 million adherents in 38 Provinces spreading across 161 countries. Although the churches are autonomous, they are also uniquely unified through their history, their theology, their worship and their relationship to the ancient See of Canterbury.

 

Another distinguishing feature of the corporate nature of Anglicanism is that it is an interdependent Church, where parishes, dioceses and provinces help each other to achieve by mutual support in terms of financial assistance and the sharing of other resources.

 

To be an Anglican is to be on a journey of faith to God supported by a fellowship of co-believers who are dedicated to finding Him by prayer and service.

ANGLICAN SACRAMENTAL LIFE

[Picture: Lord Michael Ramsey, 100th Archbishop of Caterbury]

 

Worship is at the very heart of Anglicanism.  By baptism in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, a person is made one with Christ and received into the fellowship of the Church. This sacrament of initiation is open to children as well as to adults.

 

Central to worship for Anglicans is the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, also called the Mass.  Whenever the Mass is celebrated by a priest, the bread and wine become the transubstatiated Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.  In this offering of prayer and praise, the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ are brought into the present through the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist. Other important rites, commonly called sacraments, include confirmation, holy orders [bishops, priests, and deacons], reconciliation, marriage and anointing of the sick

Video: What is an Anglican?

The name "Anglican" means "of England", but the Anglican church exists worldwide. It began in the sixth century in England, when Pope Gregory the Great sent St. Augustine to Britain to bring a more disciplined Apostolic succession to the Celtic Christians.  The Anglican Church evolved as part of the Roman church, but the Celtic influence was folded back into the Roman portion of the church in many ways, perhaps most notably by Charlemagne's tutor Aidan.  The Anglican church was spread worldwide first by English colonization and then by English-speaking missionaries.