What We Believe
What is Anglicanism?
Anglicanism is a denomination within the Christian faith that believes that Jesus of Nazareth, a first-century Jewish preacher in Palestine, is God personified. There are more than two billion Christians worldwide. Three major branches of Christianity are the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church and the various churches of Protestantism. Anglicans are part of the Protestant branch.
Anglicanism originated in England, where it is called the Church of England (and in the United States, the Episcopal Church). The Church of England became independent from the Roman Catholic Church during the Reformation in the 16th century. Anglicanism developed and spread outside England in missionary waves starting in the 17th century. As a result, there are 70 million Anglicans in 164 countries throughout the world who share common beliefs and practices that are expressed in a wide variety of languages and customs. Two thirds of all Anglicans live south of the equator and the majority is not of Anglo-Saxon origin ~ there are more Anglicans in Nigeria than in England! On any given Sunday in the Diocese of Toronto worship is offered in no less than five different languages.
This worldwide family of Anglicans is known as the Anglican Communion. The parishes, dioceses and provinces of the Anglican Communion are interdependent coming together to support one another. While each national or regional church within the Communion is autonomous, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, (www.archbishopofcanterbury.org) is the spiritual head and the chief sign of its unity. Christ Church is part of the Diocese of Toronto (www.toronto.anglican.ca). The Rt. Rev. Philip Poole is our area Bishop and The Most Rev. Colin Johnson is Archbishop of Toronto and Metropolitan of Ontario. The Primate of Canada is the Most Rev. Fred Hiltz (www.anglican.ca)
Christ Church reflects the diversity of our community with parishioners from every continent and island – we look like Brampton and know that you will feel like you belong here.
Understanding Our Language
As the Anglican Church has been around for centuries so some of language and terminology may be unfamiliar to you. Please let us know if we can help clarify anything. We will always welcome your questions.
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:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from 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.
With the Father and the Son
he is worshipped and glorified.
He 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.
Text: Nicene Creed p. 188 Book of Alternative Services
What are Anglican Essentials?
There are some basic tenets of being an Anglican. Below are what one might call our “Anglican essentials”:
We view the Old and New Testaments “as containing all things necessary for salvation” and as being the rule and ultimate standard of faith.
We understand the Apostles’ Creed as the baptismal symbol, and the Nicene Creed as the sufficient statements of the Christian faith.
The two sacraments (rites) ordained by Christ himself are Holy Baptism and Holy Eucharist (Holy Communion)
The historic episcopate (oversight by Bishops) locally adapted in methods of its administration recognizing the diverse needs of the nations and peoples called into the unity of His Church.
Anglicans uphold the catholic (universal) and apostolic faith. Following the teachings of Jesus Christ, we are committed to the proclamation of the good news of the Gospel to the entire world. We hold the holy scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the word of God and to contain all things necessary to salvation. We value the tradition of the church (how we have understood) through the writings of the early church fathers, the catholic creeds (summarizing the Christian faith), the experience of the church through the world, and the role of conscience and human reason.
We are co-workers with God in building His kingdom of justice, truth and love here on earth. We put our faith into action by seeking to cooperate in God’s mission of reconciliation here in Brampton. By being faithful in our time and place – doing our best to love God with our whole heart, mind, soul and strength and loving our neighbours as ourselves – we become God’s helpmates.
A Sacramental Church
Certain rites or sacraments, instituted by Christ himself are “outward and visible signs of an inward and spiritual grace" Book of Common Prayer, p. 550.
Through Baptism in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a person is made one with Christ and received into the fellowship of the Church. This sacrament of Christian initiation is open to children as well as to adults.
Central to worship for Anglicans is the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, also called the Holy Communion, the Lord’s Supper or the Mass. In this offering of prayer and praise, the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ are recalled through the proclamation of the word and the celebration of the sacrament. At Christ Church, all baptized Christians are welcome to receive Holy Communion. Thus nourished, we are sent into the world to serve God by serving others.
Also called sacraments include confirmation, holy orders (ordination), reconciliation, marriage and anointing of the sick.
Worship is at the very heart of Anglicanism. At Christ Church, we seek to be ancient and modern, contemporary and traditional using our many voices to proclaim the greatness of our God.
Living in Communion
Anglicans consider themselves members of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, and recognize that Christians of other traditions share this self-understanding. For this reason, to be Anglican is to be ecumenical ~ that is, we promote unity amongst the different Christian traditions. Anglicans are involved in ongoing efforts at local, national, and international levels to confront the scandal of Christian division and to make visible the unity of the universal Church of Christ.
Although we are fully Anglican and take our place in the Diocese of Toronto, we are open to the diversity of the body of Christ. All Baptized Christians regardless of denominational affiliation are welcome at Christ Church to participate fully in the sacramental life of the church. Yes, you can receive communion here.