Who are Anglicans?
Anglicans are people who belong to one of the branches of the worldwide Anglican Church.
In Canada, Anglicans are members of the Anglican Church of Canada.
What do Anglicans believe?
Anglican beliefs are guided by three things:
- Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. In the Bible the Old and New Testaments contain the essentials of our beliefs. They tell the story of how God acted in history and of how God’s will is revealed to us in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
- Traditions help us to understand the scriptures. The Bible has been handed down to us over many years. Historic creeds are traditional summaries of the Christian faith. The Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed are statements of our beliefs. Either one or the other is recited during Sunday worship.
- Reason. Anglicans believe that God gave us the gift of reason and expects us to use our minds in studying and interpreting the scriptures and tradition. This is why Anglicans are often referred to as the “people’s thinking church”.
Anglicans believe in God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We believe Jesus is God’s Son. Jesus reveals to us that God is our Father and that God is available to us through the Holy Spirit.
You won't ever be asked if you completely understand all of this. Our beliefs and trust make up our faith. Faith is a different sort of knowledge. It is the knowledge of being known and loved by God and of loving Him and others in return.
Why do Anglicans go to church?
The Church fulfils three important functions:
- Worship. We don't worship God because we have to, or because we're afraid of what God might do to us if we don't. We worship God because we believe that God through his work in our lives fully deserves our love and praise.
- Teaching. This is something we do with each other; passages from the Bible are read in church, and sermons comment and enlarge on them and other issues, and relate Christianity to real life. But Christians also have a responsibility to make their own insights about God available to the rest of the world, and an organized Church can attempt to do this in ways that individual Christians cannot.
- Fellowship. We are a community of people with a common goal, supporting and strengthening each other as we work towards that goal. An important part of Christian teaching is the need to have compassion for others both within and outside the church. The Church provides material support for the needy, and it attempts to promote social justice to the rest of society.