Anglican spirituality is rooted in communal daily prayer (Morning and Evening Prayer) and is shaped by the principles laid out in The Book of Common Prayer. Therefore, Scripture has primary importance along with the prayerful meditation on the psalms, and our way of praying tends to have more formality and structure than many non-liturgical churches.
For Anglicans, communal prayer comes before and shapes personal prayer. Prayer in Tewkesbury Abbey is seen as an activity that connects us to God and to each other – the “other” may also include our brothers and sisters who have died. Communal prayer is a part of daily, weekly, and yearly rhythms that both surround and inform our community when it gathers, either to worship or make decisions.
Anglicans see the world itself as sacramental. That is to say, the material world is capable of mediating God’s grace. We emphasize the two primary Gospel sacraments of Baptism and the Eucharist as well as offer the other sacramental signs of confirmation, matrimony, reconciliation, anointing, and ordination.
Anglicans emphasize the incarnation, God being born as Jesus and entering fully into human life and history. Accordingly, Anglicans have a “down to earth” spirituality that affirms the goodness of life and the created world. We accept the reality that things are not as they should be, but believe that the extraordinary is found in the ordinary.
Anglicans experience union with God as happening over time, gradually through a journey aided by personal prayer and discipline. This perception is confirmed by the teaching of the Christian saints throughout the ages.
Anglicans believe the truth can be found in exploring the creative tension between opposites. For example, we affirm both the sacred and the secular, the material and the spiritual, the mind and the heart, glory and intimacy.
We Anglicans tend not to be “black and white” in our thinking. We affirm the ambiguity of personal experience and the breadth of human life. Through our history, which has often been bloody, we have learnt to tolerate differing opinions of the spiritual journey.
Anglicans believe in good scholarship, going back to the original sources and valuing a questing and questioning faith. We search for wisdom in many places and encourage people to listen to each other and bring their honest questions to their life journey.
Anglicans are at home in the world of poetry, image, symbol, story-telling, ritual, and art. Although we have always resisted the temptation to align ourselves with the dogmas of either wing of the Church Universal, we have had many great theologians who have influenced world events.
Anglicans believe that beauty, in all its fullness, is a doorway to truth, goodness, and God.
Anglicans avoid extremes, believing that a godly life is one that is both inwardly graceful and ordered and outwardly serving and responsible.
Perhaps through our Celtic origins, Anglicans have a reverence for nature and its rhythms. We are not above the created order, but very much a part of its delicate and intricate balance.
Anglicans believe that Christian life has political implications and that civic life is both a legitimate and important place for our faith to be expressed.