Anglicans are Christians who belong to the Anglican Communion, a varied group of churches which spread out across the globe from the Church of England. Today the Anglican Church of Australia stands on its own feet as part of the ‘one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church’, which carries on the tradition of the early church called and sent into the world by Jesus.
Anglicans are committed to the one Christian faith. Yet we have learnt that this faith may be expressed in different ways depending on people’s experiences, cultures and historical circumstances. Anglicans thus enjoy diversity, and respect one another’s differences. We are also committed to wrestling with the issue of faith publicly , even if that means allowing differences- sometimes sharp ones – to be expressed openly.
Anglicans receive the holy scriptures (the Bible) as containing ‘all things necessary to salvation’. Anglicans hold to the Bible as the foundation for faith with respect for the experience for the Church and the need to use our minds. The Bible uses many ways to express its truth, as a library also embraces many types of books and forms of literary expression.
When Anglicans gather for worship we hear the scriptures read and explained and pray together using authorised prayer books – the most recent was issues in 1995 – so that everyone can join in, and so that common prayer becomes a familiar part of spiritual life. Anglicans respect diverse styles of worship, formal and mystical, family or youth events with lots of singing and activity, or a quiet early morning service.
Anglicans have developed a way or organising their Church that involves all its people – both ordained clergy and other members. Each local congregation (with its own leaders, both ordained and not) forms part of the basic unit of the church, called a diocese, having a bishop. The spiritual leadership of our Church comprises the threefold ministry of bishops, priests and deacons.