It’s said that Anglicanism is a “big tent.” That means that within the Anglican family of churches, there are different beliefs and rituals, undergirded by a commitment to being in community, or “in communion,” with one another.
Details on the worldwide Anglican Communion are available here. St Augustine’s is just one expression of the Anglican Church.
We focus our worship life on both the word of God and on the sacraments. When we gather to worship, we begin by hearing the word of God in scripture, responding to the word by listening to engaging and topical preaching, and by offering prayers led by members of our community. We then shift our focus and attention to the table, or the altar. There we break the bread and bless the wine. We share the bread and wine with one another, as the Body and Blood of Christ: Jesus truly present in our midst. We stand in a circle around the altar for this celebration of the eucharist, symbolizing God in Christ at our centre.
We’re a catholic church—that is, catholic in our thinking and theology. We trace our roots back to the early church and the first followers of Jesus. We hold dear the creeds and heritage of an ancient and historic church that spans the generations. Our worship feels catholic. We celebrate the sacraments of eucharist, baptism, confirmation, marriage, reconciliation, anointing for healing, and ordination. We’re informed by the Reformation. This means that we listen to and read scripture in modern language and we interpret it for our own time. And we encourage our members to develop their faith through study and prayer. We govern ourselves with a combination of leadership from bishops and by synods, councils made up of church members.
We’re a progressive church. We are open to and affirming of people from all kinds of different backgrounds. We celebrate God’s diversity. We aim to be creative in our worship: playful, yet reverent. In our search for truth and understanding, we look to scripture, asking “What truth does this reveal about God and God’s relationship with the people?” We are less concerned about the historical or factual details of scripture, accepting that many of the stories are poems, allegories, or parables seeking to reveal something true and important about a loving and mysterious God. We aspire to be a compassionate community, and we aim for an intelligent faith. When people are baptized and welcomed into the church community, we offer this prayer:
May God grant you an inquiring and discerning heart, and the courage to will and to persevere.
We put our faith into action by striving to be a safe and welcoming place. We offer compassionate service to others, lifting up the last, the least, and the lost among us. We challenge the systems that are unjust and oppressive and work to bear witness to a loving God who seeks to be in relationship with us and with all people. As such, we take great care to get to know one another and support each other. And we engage in work that benefits the broader community, such as serving in drop-in centres, helping with meal programs, sponsoring refugee families, and lending our support to community initiatives.
We believe that God is active and working in the world, calling people in every generation. If you are seeking to deepen your faith and expand your spiritual practice, we hope that you will come and explore our expression of an Anglican Church and community of faith.