A rich gift of the Anglican tradition is a history marked by an ancient Christian commitment:
In essentials: unity.
In non-essentials: liberty.
In all things: charity.
As a church, we seek to embody this posture in a world (and the Body of Christ) that is far too often deeply divided.
Part of what makes this posture rightly fruitful is clarity on The Essentials of our faith. Our beliefs, relating to all things essential, are articulated beautifully and clearly in the following creeds and declarations of faith recognized by orthodox Christians around the world:
⁜ The Jerusalem Declaration:
In the Name of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit:
We, the participants in the Global Anglican Future Conference, have met in the land of Jesus’ birth. We express our loyalty as disciples to the King of kings, the Lord Jesus. We joyfully embrace his command to proclaim the reality of His kingdom which He first announced in this land. The gospel of the kingdom is the good news of salvation, liberation and transformation for all. In light of the above, we agree to chart a way forward together that promotes and protects the biblical gospel and mission to the world, solemnly declaring the following tenets of orthodoxy which underpin our Anglican identity.
1. We rejoice in the gospel of God through which we have been saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Because God first loved us, we love Him and as believers bring forth fruits of love, ongoing repentance, lively hope and thanksgiving to God in all things.
2. We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God written and to contain all things necessary for salvation. The Bible is to be translated, read, preached, taught and obeyed in its plain and canonical sense, respectful of the Church’s historic and consensual reading.
3. We uphold the four Ecumenical Councils and the three historic Creeds as expressing the rule of faith of the one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
4. We uphold the Thirty-nine Articles as containing the true doctrine of the Church agreeing with God’s Word and as authoritative for Anglicans today.
5. We gladly proclaim and submit to the unique and universal Lordship of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, humanity’s only Saviour from sin, judgement and hell, who lived the life we could not live and died the death that we deserve. By His atoning death and glorious resurrection, He secured the redemption of all who come to Him in repentance and faith.
6. We rejoice in our Anglican sacramental and liturgical heritage as an expression of the gospel, and we uphold the 1662 Book of Common Prayer as a true and authoritative standard of worship and prayer, to be translated and locally adapted for each culture.
7. We recognize that God has called and gifted bishops, priests and deacons in historic succession to equip all the people of God for their ministry in the world. We uphold the classic Anglican Ordinal as an authoritative standard of clerical orders.
8. We acknowledge God’s creation of humankind as male and female and the unchangeable standard of Christian marriage between one man and one woman as the proper place for sexual intimacy and the basis of the family. We repent of our failures to maintain this standard and call for a renewed commitment to lifelong fidelity in marriage and abstinence for those who are not married.
9. We gladly accept the Great Commission of the risen Lord to make disciples of all nations, to seek those who do not know Christ and to baptize, teach, and bring new believers to maturity.
10. We are mindful of our responsibility to be good stewards of God’s creation, to uphold and advocate justice in society, and to seek relief and empowerment of the poor and needy.
11., We are committed to the unity of all those who know and love Christ and to building authentic ecumenical relationships. We recognize the orders and jurisdictions of those Anglicans who uphold orthodox faith and practice, and we encourage them to join us in this declaration.
12. We celebrate the God-given diversity among us which enriches our global fellowship, and we acknowledge freedom in secondary matters. We pledge to work together to seek the mind of Christ on issues that divide us.
13. We reject the authority of those churches and leaders who have denied the orthodox faith in word or deed. We pray for them and call on them to repent and return to the Lord.
14. We rejoice at the prospect of Jesus’ coming again in glory, and while we await this final event of history, we praise Him for the way He builds up His Church through His Spirit by miraculously changing lives.
⁜ The Book of Common Prayer
J.I. Packer always said, "Good theology always leads to doxology".
Another way to say this is that believing the right things (orthodoxy) will naturally express itself in right worship and right living (orthopraxy). As a church, our worship and our life together, though contextual to our current time and place, is ordered by the priorities and forms of the Book of Common Prayer.
A free PDF copy of the 2019 BCP that we use as a church can be found online here.
Physical copies are available for purchase from Anglican House Publishers here.
⁜ To Be A Christian: An Anglican Catechism
At His ascension, Jesus commissions His church to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that He had commanded them.
The Apostle Paul asks, "how then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?" (Romans 10.14)
We care deeply about creating passionate, knowledgeable, loving, and well-trained disciples of Jesus ready to live missional, intentional lives.
But discipleship is not intuitive; it must be taught. The doctrine by which Christians must live, and how to live by it has not always been linked in the practical way in which Catechesis links them. We need Catechesis to make sure that both what we should believe and how it should shape our lives is taught and that this link is established.