I am sure you have heard several times that Anglicanism is both Reformed and Catholic and you have wondered what that might mean and entail. Here is what it means.
First, we are Reformed – that is, we stand in the tradition of the Reformers, unashamed to follow the paths of Biblical Reformed doctrine.
• As Christian believers in the Anglican tradition borne out of the Reformation, we stand in the tradition of the Anglican Reformers of the 16th Century affirming, with them, the great truths which were rediscovered at the time of the Reformation, such as the sovereignty of God in salvation, justification by faith alone, and salvation in Christ alone.
• We rejoice in the doctrines of grace. All Christians from any denomination are warmly welcome. We unite in Christ and not under any one denominational banner. We are unashamed to be committed to the paths of Biblical Christian Reformed/evangelical doctrine. Within Reformational Anglicanism, we affirm the Biblical revelation of God; our fallen human condition; our need for God to save us from this position; that Jesus Christ is Lord; that He, alone, is the Way, the Truth and the Life; that no-one comes to the Father except though Him.
• We are always reforming in light of Scripture, which is the Word of God and which contains all things necessary for salvation and godly living. We subscribe to The Thirty-nine Articles of Religion and affirm the Biblical teachings set forth in The Westminster Confession and The Heidelberg Catechism as containing the true doctrine of the Church in agreement with God’s Word which, in summary form, guard the Gospel message about God, man, sin, grace, salvation, repentance and faith, the Church, and the Sacraments.
• We uphold the orthodox Christian creeds (Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian) and The Book of Common Prayer as set forth by the Church of England in 1662 with the attached Ordinal and accompanying Homilies.
• We are Reformed/evangelical, which means that we are committed to God’s Word. What we believe and teach is governed by our understanding of the Bible. What God says in Scripture shapes our church life, sets our agenda, and drives our priorities. We aim, therefore to help everyone understand what the Bible says.
Second, we are Catholic (not Roman Catholic) – that is, we are connected with and are part of the Body of Christ everywhere and at all times past, present and future; and that Christ is universally present in His church with an eternal mandate to evangelize the whole world. Our Catholicity implies that our theology, liturgy, and practice of ministry date back to the first century, developed in the Patristic era, clarified in the Reformation era, and continues to be clarified through and in the consensus fideli by the Holy Spirit and always under the authority of the Word of God. Our Catholicity explains the fact that some of our traditions date back to practices before the Reformation era and are maintained so long as they are not repugnant and/or contrary to Holy Scripture. Finally, our Catholicity requires that all possible care be taken to hold on to that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, and by all. This is in conformity with the oft-quoted “Vincentian Canon”: “Quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus creditum est,” which translates as “That Faith which has been believed everywhere, always, and by all.”
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
"The Church is reformed and always in need of being reformed according to the Word of God." Jodocus van Lodenstein