The Church of England — страница 5

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million Episcopalians in the US. At least one survey indicates that, among all denominations in this country, we have the highest percentage of members who take time for daily prayer. There is little doubt that, among all groups of Christians, we Anglicans are the most diverse and the most tolerant. Anglicans are still facing persecution in Iran and other Middle Eastern countries, Communist China, the Soviet bloc nations, Central Africa, and Central America. Throughout the world, over one thousand new Christian churches open their doors each Sunday. As always, Christianity flourishes wherever it shows people its highest ideals. 1) The essence of being an Anglican The Scriptures and the Gospels, the Apostolic Church and the early Church Fathers, are the foundation of Anglican

faith and worship. The basic tenets of being an Anglican are: * They view the Old and New Testaments 'as containing all things necessary for salvation' and as being the rule and ultimate standard of faith. * They understand the Apostles' creed as the baptismal symbol, and the Nicene creed as the sufficient statement of the Christian faith. * The two sacraments ordained by Christ himself - Baptism and the Supper of the Lord - are administered with unfailing use of Christ's words of institution, and the elements are ordained by him. * The historic episcopate is locally adapted in the methods of its administration to the varying needs of the nations and peoples called of God into the unity of his Church. Anglicans uphold the Catholic and Apostolic faith. Following the teachings of

Jesus Christ, the Churches are committed to the proclamation of the good news of the Gospel to the whole creation. In practice this is based on the revelation contained in Holy Scripture and the Catholic creeds, and is interpreted in light of Christian tradition, scholarship, reason and experience. By 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 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. Other important rites, commonly called sacraments, include confirmation, holy orders, reconciliation, marriage and anointing of the sick. Worship is at the very heart of Anglicanism. Its styles vary from simple to elaborate, or even a combination. The great uniting text is The Book of Common Prayer, in its various revisions throughout the Communion. The Book of Common Prayer, alongside additional liturgies gives expression to the comprehensiveness found within the Church whose principles reflect that of the via media in relation to its own and other Christian Churches. The Lambeth Conferences of the 1950s and 1960s called for more up-to-date national liturgies and this is going on today. No matter how distinctive each is, they are all clearly of

the lineage of The Book of Common Prayer. Another distinguishing feature of the corporate nature of Anglicanism is that it is an interdependent Church, where parishes, dioceses and provinces help each other to achieve by mutual support in terms of financial assistance and the sharing of other resources. To be an Anglican is to be on a journey of faith to God supported by a fellowship of co-believers who are dedicated to finding Him by prayer and service. 2) Today’s Organisation of the Church of England The Church of England is organised into two provinces; each led by an archbishop (Canterbury for the Southern Province and York for the Northern). These two provinces cover every inch of English soil, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands, the Isles of Scilly and even a small part

of Wales. Each province is built from dioceses. There are 43 in England and the Diocese in Europe has clergy and congregations in the rest of Europe, Morocco, Turkey and the Asian countries of the former Soviet Union. Each diocese (except Europe) is divided into parishes. The parish is the heart of the Church of England. Each parish is overseen by a parish priest (usually called a vicar or rector). From ancient times through to today, they, and their bishop, are responsible for the 'cure of souls' in their parish. That includes everyone. And this explains why parish priests are so involved with the key issues and problems affecting the whole community. Her Majesty the Queen is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, and she also has a unique and special relationship with