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Being Anglican

Christianity

The Anglican Church of Canada is part of the worldwide Christian Church. There are more than two billion Christians worldwide.

Christians believe that Jesus of Nazareth, a first-century Jewish preacher in Palestine, was in fact God incarnate. We believe Jesus Christ’s life, death and resurrection saved the world, and we follow his teachings.

Four major branches of Christianity are:

  1. the Orthodox Church, Eastern and Oriental
  2. the Roman Catholic Church
  3. the Anglican Church
  4. the Protestant churches

Anglicans are influenced by both the Protestant and Catholic traditions.

If you’re completely new to Christianity, try visiting the Church of England online to learn more about Jesus Christ and the Christian faith.

The Anglican Church

The Anglican expression of Christian faith has been shaped over many centuries and is rooted in a rich heritage that reaches back to the early Church.

Anglicans:

  • embrace the Holy Scriptures as a primary source of authority
  • accept the Apostles’ and Nicene creeds as a sufficient statement of the Christian faith
  • practise the two sacraments ordained by Christ: baptism and the Eucharist
  • continue the tradition of the Historic Episcopate (having bishops whose ministry has been handed down from the first Apostles)

Anglicans around the world have common beliefs, practices and ways of worship, which are expressed locally in many languages and customs.

The whole Anglican family worldwide is known as the Anglican Communion. It has more than 80 million members in 165 countries. The parishes, dioceses and provinces of the Anglican Communion support each other in prayer and by sharing resources.

Each national or regional church within the Communion is autonomous. The Archbishop of Canterbury is its spiritual head and the chief sign of its unity.

Anglican History

The Anglican Church of Canada has its roots in the Church of England. Christianity has existed in England since the third century. The Church of England became independent from the Roman Catholic Church during the Reformation in the 16th century. Read more about details the history of the Church of England on the Church of England website.

Anglicanism developed and spread outside England in two stages:

  1. Starting in the 17th century, it was established alongside colonies in the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, India, the West Indies and Guyana
  2. Starting in the 18th century, missionaries worked to establish Anglican churches in Asia, Africa and Latin America

For more information about the history of the Anglican Church in Canada, read A Brief History on the Anglican Church of Canada website.

Have more questions about Anglicanism or Christianity? Your local parish priest will be happy to tell you more. Find a parish near you in Find a Church/Cleric.

Links

Here are some websites that will help you learn more

In Canada

St. James Cathedral, Toronto

the cathedral church of this diocese

St. John’s Convent

home of the Sisterhood of St. John the Divine in Toronto

Anglican Church of Canada

the national Anglican Church

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

our partners in full communion

Dioceses and ecclesiastical provinces

the local and regional areas of the Anglican Church of Canada

The Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario

includes the dioceses of Algoma, Huron, Moosonee, Niagara, Ontario, Ottawa and Toronto

Anglican Church Women (Toronto)

a ministry that affirms the gifts of all Anglican women

Anglican Cursillo Movement

structuring our Christian lives to make a difference in the world

Anglican Fellowship of Prayer

encourages the ministry of prayer in Canada

Anglican Foundation of Canada

supports ministry within the Anglican Church of Canada

The Canadian Bible Society

encourages the use of the Bible throughout Canada

Trinity College

Anglican college at the University of Toronto, including a divinity school

Wycliffe College

an Anglican graduate school of theology at the University of Toronto

Centre for Christian Studies

national theological school of the Anglican and United churches

Anglican Renewal Ministries of Canada

helps lead churches into renewal

Contemplative Fire Canada

a fresh expression of church

Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund

the Canadian Anglican response for emergency relief, refugees, development and justice

justgeneration.ca

youth initiative of the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund

KAIROS

ecumenical movement for ecological justice and human rights

Mission to Seafarers

promotes the well-being of seafarers and their families

Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada

focused on social justice, women’s issues, ecumenism, and the growth of women’s spirituality

Around the world

The Anglican Communion Office:

the worldwide Anglican Church

The Anglican Cycle of Prayer:

prayer cycle from the Anglican Communion

The Church of England:

the Anglican Church in England

The Archbishop of Canterbury

the spiritual head of the global Anglican Communion

The Episcopal Church of the United States:

the Anglican Church in the US

 

World Council of Churches:

worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity

The National Council of Churches USA:

a leading force for ecumenical cooperation in the US

Anglicans Online:

an independent site providing news and resources about Anglican church life

Christian Inquiry Agency:

common questions and topics about Christianity

The Church Times:

independent Anglican newspaper based in the UK

Faith Encouragement Ministries:

support God’s people in their Christian journey

 

Quiet Garden Movement:

nurtures low-cost, accessible outdoor space for prayer

 

The Revised Common Lectionary

a three-year cycle of readings used by many churches

 

The Society of Mary:

dedicated to loving and honouring the Blessed Virgin Mary