What is the Anglican Way?
Just as St. Paul and the early Christian evangelists traveled to Corinth and Philippi and Thessalonica, men and women of faith brought Christianity to the British Isles in the A.D. 50s. These saints were the beginning of the “Anglican” (Latin for English) Church. We are the first English speaking Christians, and so our heritage developed within and around Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and European Protestant Christianity.
The Anglican Way gladly receives the life-giving Faith that was “once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3). We are self-consciously both catholic and reformed.
The earliest American Anglicans came to our shores with the first generation of settlers, and our ranks include founding fathers like George Washington and Patrick Henry. After the Revolutionary War, American Anglicans began to be known as “The Protestant Episcopal Church” but, when in the late 20th century leaders of that institution gradually abandoned the faith they had sworn to protect, faithful Americans once again took up the old name “Anglican” to reconnect to the vibrant tradition in which so many saints have lived and died in victory.
At various times over the last 2,000 years, we have been allied closely with Roman, Eastern, and European Protestant churches, but our unshaking allegiance is to:
- The Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost
- The Holy Scriptures (which “contains all things necessary to salvation”)
- The creeds and councils of the undivided church
- The teaching of the ancient catholic bishops and doctors.
We are Catholic because our bishops are by doctrine and consecration linked to the 12 chosen by our Lord Jesus Christ; we are Reformed because our tradition bears the fruit of the Protestant Reformation’s focus on Scripture and Grace.
As one of our bishops has said, we are: “Protestant and Reformed according to the principles of the ancient Catholic Church,” The Rt. Rev. John Cosin (1672). ~ by Fr. Richard Tarsitano