Our Anglican Beliefs
St. James and other Episcopal churches are inclusive, vibrant churches that offer a modern expression of ancient Christian traditions. Our Anglican beliefs blend the best of both Catholic and Protestant traditions, while remaining open to new directions from the Holy Spirit.
The Church of England (the “Anglican” church), separated from the Roman Catholic Church in 1534, becoming a Middle Way between Catholicism and Protestantism. In the newly-independent United States of America, we became the Episcopal Church.
Like the Roman Catholic Church, we have
• Bishops in an unbroken line of succession from St. Peter;
• Deacons and priests;
• Seven sacraments and ordinances (baptism, holy communion, confirmation, anointing, ordination, marriage and reconciliation);
• Weekly Sunday worship with holy communion; and
• Monks and nuns.
We have also incorporated many Protestant beliefs. We
• Emphasize a direct relationship between God and the believer;
• Allow our clergy to marry or be single, as God calls them;
• Worship and read the Bible in the language of the people;
• Share church governance between the people and the clergy; and
• Derive authority from a balance of
• The Bible,
• Church traditions, and
• Human reason guided by the Holy Spirit.
The modern Episcopal Church also allows
• Divorce and the remarriage of divorced people in the church;
• LGBT equality;
• Clergy to be male or female. (In fact, many of our nuns are priests!); and
• Any baptized person to take communion, including children.
We put a strong emphasis on spiritual formation, so each person can
• Discover their gifts and offer them to God in service;
• Become closer to God through prayer and worship.
Adapted from Christ Church, Kent