Anglicans hold the Holy Bible, as contained in the books of the Old and New Testaments, plus those books commonly called Apocrypha to be the highest and supreme authority in matters of faith. It contains all things necessary for salvation, “that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation” (39 Articles of Religion). The Apocrypha however, is not used to establish doctrine.
We confess the three great Creeds: the Apostles’, the Nicene, and the Athanasian. We also espouse the doctrines of the ecumenical councils, emphasizing the first four in particular. Some of our more unique positions can be found in the historic Anglican Formularies: the Book of Common Prayer, the 39 Articles of Religion, and the Ordinal (which contains ordination services for bishops, priests, and deacons).
Week after week, we profess the words of the Nicene Creed: We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
As our history makes clear, Anglicans embrace the episcopal form of church government. This means we recognize three pastoral offices: bishops (the term “bishop” is an English contraction of the Greek word episkopas), priests (the English contraction of presbyter or elder), and deacons (derived from the Greek diakonos, meaning servant, minister, or messenger).
We recognize two dominical sacraments established by Jesus Christ Himself: Holy Baptism and Holy Communion. We understand the sacraments to be visible, effectual signs of grace and God’s good will toward his people, which enliven, strengthen, and confirm our faith in Him. We espouse the doctrine of baptismal regeneration, where the Holy Spirit brings about new birth in the waters of baptism. We believe in the real presence of Christ in the consecrated elements of Holy Communion, in which God’s people feed on the Body and Blood of Christ by faith. We also practice 5 other ecclesiastical sacraments: Confirmation, Reconciliation, Ordination, Matrimony, and Anointing of the Sick.
We believe that we are part of the universal church - one, holy, Catholic and Apostolic. We do not see ourselves as the only legitimate Christian tradition, but we seek to hand on faithfully the Apostolic (genuine) and Catholic (inclusive) faith, being always open to reform, and longing to be one with others who, through the Spirit, confess Jesus Christ as Lord, to the glory of God the Father.