"Ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." (St. Jude 1:3b)
In England and elsewhere in the British Isles, Christianity is known to have existed almost "from the Beginning". The practice of the Christian religion and the work of the Church of Britain were continuous through succeeding centuries. Our bishops have been consecrated in an unbroken line of Apostolic Succession that can be traced all the way back to one of the original Apostles, St. John.
Expressive of the Eternal and Mystical Body of Christ
The Anglican Faith is expressive of the eternal and Mystical Body of Christ, who commissioned His disciples to go into all the world to preach the Gospel. Now, almost 2000 years later, the Anglican Faith retains the essential characteristics of our Lord Saviour "who changes not", and thus remains timelessly relevant.
The worldwide Anglican Faith and Order omits nothing of the essentials - Biblical, Credal, Sacramental or of Apostolic Order. It has added nothing to the Faith once received by the saints. Its Order of ritual and solemn form is embodied in one of the great treasures of Christianity and the English language, the historic Book of Common Prayer.
The Anglican Faith is based on the Bible
We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God and to contain all things necessary to salvation. The Bible is the source of our belief and moral standards. As God’s revealed Word to us, the Bible is the lens through which we view and evaluate all other claims to the Truth.
The Anglican Creed is the Catholic Faith of the Creeds
"Catholic" means that which has been consistently believed and practiced from the earliest times. The Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds and the ancient statements of the undivided Church based on Biblical truth are statements of faith today. We have neither added to nor subtracted from them. Our BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER (1928 ed.) contains the catholic treasure of corporate worship and enables us to use it every time we gather together for praise and prayer. The catholic balance of Sacrament and Word in our worship is evidenced by our frequent celebrations of the Holy Eucharist and our emphasis on Biblical preaching. The rich inheritance of the Christian Year (Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Pre-Lent, Lent, Passiontide, Easter, Ascension, Pentecost, Trinity) and centuries of sacred music make the year alive with a Christ-centered liturgy, participated in by all the Faithful.
The Anglican Faith is a reformed and reforming faith
Much of our distinctiveness was hammered out during the English Reformation of the 16th century. We hesitate to use the word "protestant" because it has lost its original meaning, and is associated with over 200 groups who have repudiated much of the Catholic Tradition. Perhaps the easiest way to remember the difference between the English Reformation and the Continental European Reformation is that "the baby was not thrown out with the bath water"! Catholic essentials such as the Creeds and the Sacraments were retained by the Church of England, although translated into the vernacular, so that any Anglican could participate in them with understanding.
The Anglican Faith is a missionary faith
The first service according to the Book of Common Prayer in America was led by the Chaplain of Sir Francis Drake’s flagship in 1579, in San Francisco Bay. The first baptism of an Anglo-Saxon in North America was that of Virginia Dare in 1587. The first permanent parish established in the English Colonies was at Jamestown, 1607, following the first recorded Holy Eucharist according to the Book of Common Prayer soon after the Jamestown colonists landed. The story of the spread of the Anglican Faith to Africa, India, Australia, China, Japan, etc. is a thrilling story too long to detail here! Within this Faith we find such great and diverse servants of Jesus Christ such as C.S. Lewis, John and Charles Wesley, Florence Nightingale, Charles Dickens, T.S. Elliot, Dorothy Sayers, Robert E. Lee, Bess Truman, and several U.S. Presidents. Two-thirds of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were Anglicans.
All that we do is based on the acceptance of Jesus Christ as the one, full, perfect and sufficient revelation attested by Holy Scriptures. We do not need another "prophet" or "teacher".