What is the Anglican Church?

The Anglican Church is a Christian Church that follows the tradition of the Church of England. A Christian Church acknowledges Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour and the Anglican Church is a denomination of the Christian Church.

29 Canadian dioceses form the Anglican Church of Canada. A Diocese is a geographical area and the Bishop is the head of the Diocese. Thunder Bay is in the Diocese of Algoma and the Bishop is the Right Reverend Stephen Andrews. Each parish sends representatives to Diocesan Synod that meets every two years and which is a diocesan legislature. Each diocese is a separately incorporated body.

Each diocese sends representatives to General Synod that meets every three years and which functions as a national legislature. General Synod sets national policy including the authorization of the prayer and hymn books. The chair of General Synod is the Primate, who is an Archbishop. The Primate is the Archbishop Fred Hiltz.

The Lambeth Quadrilateral states the Anglican position for the essentials for a reunited Christian Church, and has been the basis of Anglican ecumenical discussions. It was agreed to in 1888, and it is:

We believe that the visible unity of the Church will be found to involve the whole-hearted acceptance of:

  1. The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, as ‘containing all things necessary to salvation’, and as being the rule and ultimate standard of faith.
  2. The Apostles’ Creed, as the baptismal symbol; and the Nicene Creed, as the sufficient statement of the Christian faith
  3. The two sacraments ordained by Christ himself, Baptism and the Supper of the Lord, ministered with unfailing use of Christ’s words of institution, and of the elements ordained by him.
  4. The historic episcopate, locally adapted in the methods of its administration to the varying needs of the nations and peoples called of God into the unity of his Church.

An identifying feature of the Anglican Church is the common worship, read from a prayer book. The two Canadian prayer books in use are the Book of Common Prayer (1961), the Book of Alternative Services (1985), and the Book of Occasional Celebrations (1992). For each Sunday and Holy Day, readings are taken from a lectionary. The Anglican Church uses the Revised Common Lectionary, which is a schedule of Bible readings on a 3-year cycle. Most mainline Christian Churches use this lectionary.

To understand what the Anglican Church doctrine is, read the worship services found in the prayer books.