Faith & Belief
Christians believe in one God, worshipped through the teachings of Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God, born as man to save the world. The Hebrew bible (which is the Old Testament in the Christian Bible) predicts (or prophesies) the coming of a Messiah, and we believe that Jesus Christ is that Messiah. The New Testament of the Bible describes Jesus’s life on earth (in the Gospels) and the acts of his followers as they created the early church. Using these books, the early church summarised what Christians believe in what are known as “creeds”, and Christians profess their faith regularly by repeating them at services. An early creed, which has since been extended but still used, is the Apostle’s Creed, and clearly demonstrates the three-fold nature of our belief, known as the Trinity:
“I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.
On the Church of England web site Baron Williams of Oystermouth explains what it means to be Christian. Click here to read.
There are three main branches of Christianity: Roman Catholicism, Protestantism and Eastern Orthodoxy. From the early Church of Christ Eastern Orthodoxy branched out around the 11th century, and the Protestants split from Roman Catholics around the 16th century (including Henry VIII and the rise of Continental Protestantism developed by Luther and Calvin). The Church of England was created by Henry VIII, and in the 16th and 17th centuries developed a document describing the Church of England, known as the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion. In effect, there is a bit of both Protestant and Catholic in there, which is why the current Church of England has a very broad base of traditions, some favouring the Protestant side, some favouring the Catholic side, and many in the middle, but all equally in keeping with each other. Anglicanism simply describes churches that have developed from the Church of England.
Click here to read what The Archbishop of York says about being an Anglican.