Through this website, you can learn about the history of the Anglican Catholic Church, our beliefs, worship practices, and discover the locations of parishes within our diocese.
Read on to learn what we believe about the role and nature of the Christian Church.
The Church is Catholic
St. Vincent of Lerins in the early fifth century defined catholicity as “what has been believed everywhere, always, and by all.” It is by this test that we Anglicans consider ourselves to be catholic, together with the great churches of Eastern Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism and the Union of Utrecht (“Old Catholics”). The seal of that is the apostolic succession, the consecration of our bishops at the hands of other bishops tracing their consecrations back to the apostles themselves. The faith is that expressed in the Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian creeds; it was clarified and applied by the first seven Ecumenical Councils meeting in the first seven centuries of Christendom, well before the Great Schism of the Church into East and West. We stress the underlying unity of faith and order with this early Church and judge contemporary issues in the light of Holy Scriptures and that Holy Tradition.
The Anglican Catholic Church does not owe its existence to the theological inspiration of a Calvin or a Luther or any other single teacher. Its faith was formed in the Apostolic Age and refined in the early centuries of the undivided Church. Its theology is that of the first seven Ecumenical Councils and it holds this theology in common with the great churches of Rome and the East. It has not chosen to emphasize one part of the faith over another, no matter how useful a single part may be. It preaches an individual living faith in Jesus Christ – but it stresses a life lived out in the given of the real Church, the community of saints. It exhalts the Lord Christ above all – yet it recognizes the proper honor paid to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God. It stresses a strict morality – yet it provides ready confession and absolution to the penitent sinner. In short, it holds the whole faith, the faith once delivered to the saints. And it does not feel at liberty to improvise on that faith.
The Church is holy
The first mission of the Church is the worship of Almighty God. And it is in this context that the holiness of individual members is realized. Our worship is elegant, respectfully formal, essentially timeless in its form and attitude. That does not make it an historic relic or a sterile ritual. Rather it is a structured worship that allows the individual mastery over its elements and the ability to pray the liturgy on a deeply personal basis. Yes, our prayers are largely “written down”. So that we may use them as familiar and personal avenues to God. Nothing to our mind is more productive of passivity in worship than to have someone else pray for you in ways and words you are hearing for the first time and which cannot be your own (or with which you may, in fact, disagree!). Our liturgy provides the foundation for personal holiness, for the continuing process of each member to stretch and reach and grow in God’s grace.
The Church is sacramental
It is often said that our society is too materialistic. perhaps, in many ways, this is true. But it also exhibits a profound disdain for the material. Think for a moment of all the things we use once and then throw away and you will be convinced that we do not value the material or especially respect it. But the Catholic Church has always respected the material world as the loving creation of God Himself. And it is through this material world that God reaches us with his love and power, for He has no other means. Thus we employ material elements (water, bread, wine, oil, married life) as channels of that love and power which He has ordained. Weekly, if not more often, we meet our Lord in the Holy Eucharist, where He allows us to feed on His Body and Blood, His Real Presence, strengthening our souls and imparting eternal life.
The Church is intimate
Many of our congregations are smaller than we would like! But the Anglican ethos, although productive of great cathedrals, focuses most consistently on the relatively small parish church–because this is the laboratory of love wherein people know and care for one another. Big is not necessarily better when it comes to the care of souls.
The Church is traditional
By this time, you will have gathered that we are not interested in being “blown by every wind of doctrine”. Trees deeply rooted do not succumb to passing breezes. We are profoundly unhappy that so many of our Christian brethren have decided to take as their examples of life the passing whims and fancies of the popular culture. We are not trendy. We believe in an historic faith which is a “still point in a changing world”. The Church is a rock, a sure foundation on which we can build our own lives and the lives of our children.
The Church is friendly
Our Saviour was the supreme example of God’s eternal love for us, and his particular commandment to us was to “love one another”. We try to do this. Sometimes it’s hard, of course. But we work at this business of loving; we work at it hard. And we love you, even before we’ve met you. We want to share that love when you come to visit us.
We hope you will choose to be a part of our growing Christian community