What we believe
Our understanding of orthodox Anglican faith can be summed up in the words of the Jerusalem Statement which emerged from the first GAFCON gathering of 2008:
The Jerusalem Declaration
In the name of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit:
We, the participants in the Global Anglican Future Conference, have met in the land of Jesus’ birth. We express our loyalty as disciples to the King of kings, the Lord Jesus. We joyfully embrace his command to proclaim the reality of his kingdom which he first announced in this land. The gospel of the kingdom is the good news of salvation, liberation and transformation for all. In light of the above, we agree to chart a way forward together that promotes and protects the biblical gospel and mission to the world, solemnly declaring the following tenets of orthodoxy which underpin our Anglican identity.
1. We rejoice in the gospel of God through which we have been saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Because God first loved us, we love him and as believers bring forth fruits of love, ongoing repentance, lively hope and thanksgiving to God in all things.
2. We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God written and to contain all things necessary for salvation. The Bible is to be translated, read, preached, taught and obeyed in its plain and canonical sense, respectful of the church’s historic and consensual reading.
3. We uphold the four Ecumenical Councils and the three historic Creeds as expressing the rule of faith of the one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
4. We uphold the Thirty-nine Articles as containing the true doctrine of the Church agreeing with God’s Word and as authoritative for Anglicans today.
5. We gladly proclaim and submit to the unique and universal Lordship of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, humanity’s only Saviour from sin, judgement and hell, who lived the life we could not live and died the death that we deserve. By his atoning death and glorious resurrection, he secured the redemption of all who come to him in repentance and faith.
6. We rejoice in our Anglican sacramental and liturgical heritage as an expression of the gospel, and we uphold the 1662 Book of Common Prayer as a true and authoritative standard of worship and prayer, to be translated and locally adapted for each culture.
7. We recognise that God has called and gifted bishops, priests and deacons in historic succession to equip all the people of God for their ministry in the world. We uphold the classic Anglican Ordinal as an authoritative standard of clerical orders.
8. We acknowledge God’s creation of humankind as male and female and the unchangeable standard of Christian marriage between one man and one woman as the proper place for sexual intimacy and the basis of the family. We repent of our failures to maintain this standard and call for a renewed commitment to lifelong fidelity in marriage and abstinence for those who are not married.
9. We gladly accept the Great Commission of the risen Lord to make disciples of all nations, to seek those who do not know Christ and to baptise, teach and bring new believers to maturity.
10. We are mindful of our responsibility to be good stewards of God’s creation, to uphold and advocate justice in society, and to seek relief and empowerment of the poor and needy.
11. We are committed to the unity of all those who know and love Christ and to building authentic ecumenical relationships. We recognise the orders and jurisdiction of those Anglicans who uphold orthodox faith and practice, and we encourage them to join us in this declaration.
12. We celebrate the God-given diversity among us which enriches our global fellowship, and we acknowledge freedom in secondary matters. We pledge to work together to seek the mind of Christ on issues that divide us.
13. We reject the authority of those churches and leaders who have denied the orthodox faith in word or deed. We pray for them and call on them to repent and return to the Lord.
14. We rejoice at the prospect of Jesus’ coming again in glory, and while we await this final event of history, we praise him for the way he builds up his church through his Spirit by miraculously changing lives.
Our beliefs are also aligned with the Basis of Belief of the Church of England Evangelical Council
CEEC Basis of Belief
1 As members of the Church of England within the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church we affirm the faith uniquely revealed in the holy Scriptures and set forth in the catholic creeds, of which the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion are a general exposition. Standing in the Reformation tradition we lay especial emphasis on the grace of God – his unmerited mercy – as expressed in the doctrines that follow.
2 God as the Source of Grace – In continuity with the teaching of Holy Scripture and the Christian creeds, we worship one God in three persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God has created all things, and us in his own image: all life, truth, holiness and beauty come from him. His Son Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man, was conceived through the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, was crucified, died, rose and ascended to reign in glory.
3 The Bible as the Revelation of Grace – We receive the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments as the wholly reliable revelation and record of God’s grace, given by the Holy Spirit as the true word of God written. The Bible has been given to lead us to salvation, to be the ultimate rule for Christian faith and conduct, and the supreme authority by which the Church must ever reform itself and judge its traditions.
4 The Atonement as the Work of Grace – We believe that Jesus Christ came to save lost sinners. Though sinless, he bore our sins, and their judgement, on the cross, thus accomplishing our salvation. By raising Christ bodily from the dead, God vindicated him as Lord and Saviour and his victory. Salvation is in Christ alone.
5 The Church as the Community of Grace – We hold that the Church is God’s covenant community, whose members, drawn from every nation, having been justified by grace through faith, inherit the promises made to Abraham and fulfilled in Christ. As a fellowship of the Spirit manifesting his fruit and exercising his gifts, it is called to worship God, grow in grace, and bear witness to him and his Kingdom. God’s Church is one body and must ever strive to discover and experience that unity in truth and love which it has in Christ, especially through its confession of the apostolic faith and in its observance of the dominical sacraments.
6 The Sacraments as the Signs of Grace – We maintain that the Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion proclaim the Gospel as effective and visible signs of our justification and sanctification, and as true means of Gods grace to those who repent and believe. Baptism is the sign of forgiveness of sin, the gift of the Spirit, new birth to righteousness and entry into the fellowship of the People of God. Holy Communion is the sign of the living, nourishing presence of Christ through his Spirit to his people: the memorial of his one, perfect, completed and all -sufficient sacrifice for sin, from whose achievement all may benefit but in whose offering none can share; and an expression of our corporate life of sacrificial thanksgiving and service.
7 Ministry as the Stewardship of Grace – We share, as the People of God, in a royal priesthood common to the whole Church, and in the community of the Suffering Servant. Our mission is the proclamation of the Gospel by the preaching of the word, as well as by caring for the needy, challenging evil and promoting justice and a more responsible use of the world’s resources. It is the particular vocation of bishops and presbyters, together with deacons, to build up the body of Christ in truth and love, as pastors, teachers, and servants of the servants of God.
8 Christ’s Return as the Triumph of Grace – We look forward expectantly to the final manifestation of Christ’s grace and glory when he comes again to raise the dead, judge the world, vindicate His chosen and bring his Kingdom to its eternal fulfilment in the new heaven and the new earth.