Our Anglican Identity
The Anglican Church is a connectional church which is rooted in the past with an eye to the future. Our beliefs and practices are built upon the Bible, Tradition and Reason.
Anglicanism is one expression or tradition of the Christian faith. Examples of other traditions include Roman Catholics, Methodists, Pentecostals, Presbyterians, Lutherans and Baptists. The Anglican Church is a connectional church which is rooted in the past with an eye to the future. Our beliefs and practices are built upon the Bible, Tradition and Reason.
The Anglicans have cultural and historical roots that can be traced back to the Church of England and the early church. In the year 597, Augustine of Canterbury, a monk was sent to England by Pope Gregory as a missionary. Many came to faith through Augustine of Canterbury and he can be said to be the founder of the English Church. He was later consecrated as the first Archbishop of Canterbury and since then, there has been an unbroken succession of Archbishops of Canterbury.
The Anglican Communion
The Anglican Communion is the worldwide fellowship of churches owing their origins to the Church of England. This is a fellowship within one, holy, catholic and apostolic church, of those diocese, provinces or regional churches in communion with the See of Canterbury.
The Anglican Communion is wide-ranging, doctrinally as well as geographically, but yet there are certain beliefs which unite Anglicans. The Lambeth Quadrilateral, set out at the Lambeth Conference in 1888, defines these as:
Ministry in the Diocese of Singapore is the teamwork of members of the clergy (bishop, priests, and deacons) and laity (deaconesses, parish workers, lay readers, and others).
Apostolic Succession, the ministry of the early apostles handed down the ages is a feature in Anglican Church ministry, which includes the laying on of hands during the consecration of bishops and the ordination of priests and deacons. As stated in the Ordinal of the Alternative Service Book 1980, the duties pertaining to the three-fold order of bishop, priest, and deacon are as follows:
A bishop is called to lead in serving and caring for the people of God and to work with them in the oversight of the Church. As a chief pastor, he shares with his fellow bishops a special responsibility to maintain and further the unity of the Church, to uphold its discipline, and to guard its faith.
He is to promote its mission throughout the world. It is his duty to watch over and pray for all those committed to his charge, and to teach and govern them after the examples of the Apostles, speaking in the name of God and interpreting the Gospel of Christ. He is to know his people and be known by them. He is to ordain and to send new ministers guiding those who serve him and enabling them to fulfill their ministry.
He is to baptise and confirm, to preside at the Holy Communion, and to lead the offering of prayer and praise. He is to be merciful, but with firmness, and to minister discipline, but with mercy. He is to have a special care for the outcast and needy; and to those who turn to God he is to declare the forgiveness of sins.
A priest is called by God to work with the bishop and with his fellow-priests, as servant and shepherd among the people to whom he is sent.
He is to proclaim the Word of the Lord, to call his hearers to repentance, and in Christ’s name to absolve and declare the forgiveness of sins. He is to preside at the celebration of the Holy Communion. He is to lead his people in prayer and worship, to intercede for them, to bless them in the name of the Lord, and to teach and encourage by word and example. He is to minister to the sick, and prepare the dying for their death.
He must set the Good Shepherd always before him as the pattern of his calling, caring for the people committed to his charge, and joining with them in a common witness to the world.
A deacon is called to serve the Church of God, and to work with its members in caring for the poor, the needy, the sick, and all who are in trouble.
He is to strengthen the faithful, search out the careless and the indifferent, and to preach the Word of God in the place to which he is licensed.
A deacon assists the priest, under whom he serves, in leading the worship of the people, especially in the administration of the Holy Communion. He may baptise when required to do so. It is his general duty to do such pastoral work as is entrusted to him.