What We Believe
Anglican means English. The Anglican Catholic Church adheres to the Catholic faith from the days of the orthodox Church of England.
Christianity was founded within Judaism by Jesus, the Christ or "Messiah," and soon came to embrace Gentiles into its fold. Endowed by Christ with the Apostolic Ministry, the Christian Church survived the destruction of the Jewish Temple in A.D. 70, when the Jewish priesthood came to an end.
From the first century, the Church described itself as "catholic." The word means both "universal," in its broadest sense, and "orthodox" in Church usage. Clarified in the Canon of St. Vincent of Lerins, the Catholic Faith is: "That which has been believed everywhere, always and by all" (i.e., universally) within the undivided Christian Church.
The Church in England
In 664, Celtic and Latin missions in England met at the Synod of Whitby and formed a single church, the Church of England. Until 1066, the Church of England remained in communion with, but not under the formal jurisdiction of, the See of Rome.
In 1534, during the reign of Henry VIII, the Church of England again became autonomous from papal jurisdiction. At this time, Henry simply restored autonomy to an old church, but made no radical alterations to English religion. During the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary Tudor, and Elizabeth I, until 1570, the Church of England remained in communion with the See of Rome. From 1570 to the present, the Catholic Church has subsisted in three main groups of jurisdictions: Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Anglican.
In the twentieth century, much of the Anglican world has abandoned its Catholic heritage and has adopted the secular spirit of the age (Zeitgeist). By contrast, the Anglican Catholic Church maintains its tradition and beliefs: the only sure basis for Christian unity.
The International Church
The Anglican Catholic Church is a world-wide body. It includes fifteen dioceses in the Americas, the United Kingdom, Australia, five dioceses in India, a bishopric in New Zealand, a deanery in Spain and in South America.
Faith, Ministry, and Worship
The whole Catholic Faith is maintained as received by and from the Church of England in the days of its orthodoxy. This includes the same Scriptures, Creeds, Sacraments, and Apostolic Ministry of both the East and West Catholic Churches.
The Anglican Catholic Church is governed by bishops in the Apostolic Succession and maintains the male three-fold order of bishops, priests, and deacons.
The Book of Common Prayer (1549 edition), and certain authorized revisions, are the official standards of worship in the Anglican Catholic Church. The Book of Common Prayer is Biblical in character (some 80% of its contents are drawn directly from Scripture) and its liturgical forms are based on those of the early, undivided Church.
The Church's central act of worship is the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist or Holy Communion, commonly called the Mass.
In addition to regular Sunday worship, clergy and lay people alike are encouraged to develop a disciplined personal devotional life including daily prayer, regular Bible study and meditation, fasting and abstinence on Fridays and during Lent, occasional retreats, and a pledge of weekly financial support to the Church.
For more information, also see Speaking Anglican.