Anglicans follow Jesus Christ, as our Lord and Saviour. We believe in the relational and communal nature of God as it is expressed through the early experience of the first Christians and articulated in the historic doctrine of the Holy Trinity. Anglicans put their faith in God revealed through scripture, tradition, and human reason. All three are held in dynamic tension with one another, no one being more important than the other two. Anglicans uphold the Bible as the inspired witness to God’s holy covenant with the Hebrew people in the Old Testament and the new covenant inaugurated through Jesus Christ at the Last Supper and through his death and resurrection.
The Church of England is part of the Anglican transmission of historic, catholic and apostolic Christianity, and therefore affirms the faith contained in the historic creeds and doctrines of the Ecumenical Councils of the Christian Church and the Reformation era Articles of Religion. The ministry of the Church of England affirms the historic order of bishop, priest, and deacon. In contrast to other parts of the catholic and apostolic tradition, the Church of England ordains both men and women, and all its clergy are permitted to marry.
In the Church of England worship is the primary activity of the community gathered as the Body of Christ. The Church defines its boundaries by reference to common worship rather than shared belief. Anyone who is able to worship with us, is welcome. Right belief tends to divide people into those who are in, and those who are out. By contrast, worship stresses being in right relationship with one another. The Book of Common Prayer, sometime referred to as the Bible reorganised for worship guides common worship in the Eucharist, in the daily offices of common prayer, and in other celebrations of Christian life.
Anglicans articulate their Christian lives through the promises of the Baptismal Covenant. These are summarised as: to be faithful in prayer and worship; to resist evil and repent when we fail; to proclaim in word and example the good news of the Gospel of Christ; to seek Christ in all persons; to strive for justice and peace among all, respecting the dignity of every human being.
The Church of England takes seriously Archbishop Temple’s dictum: the Church is the only organisation that exists for those who are not its members. Therefore, it is possible to be a member of the parish of St Laurence, without being a formal member of the Church of England. You are considered a member of St Laurence if you are baptised and commit yourself to being regular in worship, supporting the life of the community through your gifts of time, talent and wealth. Formal Membership in the wider Church is through baptism and confirmation. Confirmation is the affirmation of baptismal promises for people growing-up in an Anglican parish and for adults coming from non-Apostolic (Protestant) Christian traditions who wish to become formal members of the Anglican Church. Reception is a similar ceremony for adults coming from Apostolic (Catholic or Orthodox) Christian traditions.
For more additional information on membership and becoming part of the Christian life of St Laurence Church please contact:
The Revd. Canon Rodney Dreyer