We believe the Bible is God's inspired word, holding all that we need to live the life God wants of us: 'all things necessary for salvation'. The Bible comprises the 39 books of the Hebrew Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament. There are many English translations of the Bible that can help us to understand God's message. We use the New Revised Standard Version in worship.
The Book of Common Prayer was written as a result of the English Reformation in the 1500s, although it draws on patterns of worship and language that were used in the early church. It therefore brings together Anglicanism's protestant and catholic traditions. The 1662 version of the Book of Common Prayer is still the basis of worship and belief in the Anglican Church, and it sets out traditional forms of worship for Sunday services, baptisms, weddings, funerals and other special occasions. The Book of Common Prayer does not replace the Bible as our source of belief, but interprets the way that the Bible guides our worship - it is steeped in biblical language and images.
We don't use the Book of Common Prayer in worship at St Anne's Church. Instead, we follow the patterns of worship set out in A Prayer Book for Australia, which is a resource authorised for use in the Australian Anglican Church and a modern version of the Book of Common Prayer in contemporary English. And we also don't use actual books - it's all projected onto a screen!
With other Christians, Anglicans believe in one God who is three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. People's decision to reject God and live as we ourselves wish to live has broken the relationship between humanity and God. However, the way to restore this relationship with God has been given by God himself, through the life and death of God the Son - the historical Jesus Christ. We believe that Jesus rose to new life three days after his death. The Holy Spirit continues God's work in the world today, especially through the gifts that the Spirit gives to God's people in the Christian church.
All Anglican belief has four signposts: the Bible; the creeds (specifically, the Apostle's Creed and the Nicene Creed); the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion; and the importance of bishops in maintaining our connection with the historical church of the Apostles.
We therefore believe that the Bible is God's inspired word. In common with other Christian churches, we accept the historic creeds of the early church: the Apostle's Creed, the Nicene Creed (325 AD), and the rarely used Athanasian Creed (late 400s AD). Anglican churches' unique statement of beliefs in the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion reflects our heritage in the English Reformation. A strength of the Anglican Church worldwide is that it embraces a variety of commitments and practices within these four signposts of core belief.