What Religion are we?

What do we Believe?

Our Churches of St Bartholomew and St Anne's are both "Church of England" Churches.
The Church of England is part of the Anglican Communion, which is a worldwide family of churches in more than 160 different countries.
Each Sunday more than a million people attend Church of England services, making it the largest Christian denomination in the country.

The origin of the Church of England go back to the time of the Roman Empire when Christianity entered the Roman province of Britain in the 1st century. As Christianity took a foothold through the centuries, direction came from the authority of the Pope.
The Reformation in the 16th century split the church from Papal governance in Rome, to create a Monarch Head for the Church in England, commencing with King Henry VII. (The Reformation)  
The Church of England beliefs differed from Roman Catholic doctrine, and the Book of Common Prayer was produced in the year 1662, laying down the 39 Articles of Religion, much of which is still used to this day. 

The Church of England is a broad church, representing a wide spectrum of theological thought and practice. However, as part of the Anglican Communion there are some distinctively Anglican ideas which can be identified in the Church of England. They are:

  • a belief that the Bible contains the core of all Christian faith and thought
  • a loyalty to a way of worship and life that was first set out in the Book of Common Prayer
  • celebration of the sacraments ordained by Jesus - that of Baptism and Eucharist or Holy Communion
  • a system of Church order that stems from ancient times and is focused in the ordained ministry of Bishop, Priest and Deacon
  • a firm commitment to the ministry of the whole people of God, lay and ordained together
  • a way of Christian thinking that involves Scripture, Tradition and Reason held together in creative tension.
A statement of belief may be expressed in the form of the Nicene Creed (used in our services as a declaration of faith)
It is called Nicene because it was originally adopted in the city of Nicaea (present day Iznik, Turkey by the First Council of Nicaea in 325. 

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, was incarnate from the Holy Spirit and 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, who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified, who 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.

(The term "Catholic and apostolic" means one all-embracing true faith founded by Jesus and his disciples/Apostles)

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