There are three basic sources of Anglican Church belief:
The Church is the people of God. It
is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic;
that means, one body under one head, Christ; a place that is holy, wherein
the Spirit dwells; all inclusive holding the faith for all time,
everywhere, for everybody; and continuing in the apostles' teaching and
Bishops are spiritual overseers of their dioceses which elected them to office. The Apostolic succession is the line of bishops which may be traced back to the early church commissioned by Jesus. Bishops ordain priests and deacons, administer the sacrament of confirmation, consecrate other bishops and are final counsellors in church matters.
Priests are parish and mission leaders. The full scope of their duties covers every pastoral, spiritual and educational activity. Priests celebrate the Eucharist, baptize, pronounce absolution and perform many other duties.
Deacons are those who serve, assisting
priests in their ministry, baptizing and, in the absence of a priest,
The Sacraments are "outward and
visible signs of inward and spiritual grace."
Baptism and Holy Communion are the
sacraments instituted and ordained by Jesus.
The water poured on the person during baptism symbolizes the washing away of sins. The Holy Trinity is called upon to strengthen the new church member and baptism becomes a pledge of repentance and obedience to God. It is a sign that a person has been reborn into a new family - the Church.
Eucharist (Holy Communion, or Mass) is the remembrance of, and praise and
thanksgiving for Christ's death and resurrection. In the Eucharist,
ordinary bread and wine become the means for Jesus Christ's presence with us.
The five lesser sacraments, not directly commanded by Christ, are: penance, ordination, confirmation, holy matrimony and the ministry of healing.
The Anglican Communion
An Anglican is a Christian who belongs to
the Anglican Church, which in turn is a member of the Anglican
Communion. The Anglican Communion is present in 161
countries on all continents, and is a fellowship - within the One, Holy,
Catholic and Apostolic Church - of churches in communion with each other and
with the See of Canterbury. The Archbishop
of Canterbury, honoured as "first among equals", is a symbol of
unity among 70 million Anglicans, and frequently acts as a spokesman of the
Church in international affairs.
The Anglican Church of Canada consists of four ecclesiastical provinces containing 29 dioceses, each governed by a bishop. The primate, first among equals in the Canadian Church, is the Most Reverend Fred Hilz, Bishop of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
Adapted from Saint
Andrew's Cathedral, Singapore.