What’s an Anglican?

Short Answer:  Anglicans are Christians who trace their history and spiritual heritage from the Church of England.

Longer Answer:  In 1534, the King, Parliament, and the entire church hierarchy in England separated itself from the authority of the Roman Church and the Pope.  The “Church of England” was established by law.  It was a Protestant Church, having embraced the theological tenants of the Protestant Reformation.

The Church of England was unique among its Reformation cousins, however, in that it retained a church authority hierarchy (having bishops, priests, and deacons with those titles) and maintained a strict adherence to liturgical order (how the worship services were to be conducted).  Today – even after more than 475 years – you can still see these distinctives at work in most Anglican churches.

In the Reformation period, the church produced The Book of Common Prayer.  It served to guard and regulate the faith and doctrine of the church.  It also united the people and nation in common prayer and worship (done the same in every church, by everyone).  The 1662 version of the book – along with the King James Bible – is counted as one of the greatest influences on the development of the English language as we know it today.

Anglicanism is the world’s third largest Church (behind Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy).

Locally, we are a part of the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh, which is a part of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).