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What does it mean to be an Anglican?

May 11, 2011 in The Anglican Faith in Europe

A worldwide family of churches, the Anglican Communion has more than 70 million adherents in 38 Provinces across 161 countries, but what unites Anglicans with other Christians and what gives Anglicanism its special character? The Church of England website is a good source of information on being an Anglican: read more

‘A community of people where all need each other and where everyone is of infinite worth in the sight of God’ John Sentamu

The Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, who grew up as an Anglican in Uganda, shares his own experience of what it means to be an Anglican on theChurch of England website:
‘For me having grown up in Uganda being Anglican has always been very important. Being Christian came first of course – I came to faith in Christ through the witness of lay people, and immediately became involved in the activities run by a very godly youth leader… Even then belonging to the Church gave me a keen sense of both the local and the global. Later as a vicar in South London I knew my responsibility was towards everyone in the parish, not just those who came to church. But the global dimension was always there. Church was for me a window on the wider world…’ read more

If you want to find out about being an Anglican in Hamburg and how St Thomas Becket church fits into the Anglican family in Europe and the wider world, have a look at the church website.

The Anglican churches in northern Europe are also part of the Porvoo Communion.

Porvoo Churches – working together in northern Europe

April 29, 2011 in Porvoo Churches

As part of the Anglican Church, St Thomas Becket is a member of the Porvoo Communion, a Communion of churches that have agreed to share a common life in mission and service.

The following, taken from the Porvoo Churches website [], explains what the Porvoo Communion is and what its member churches have agreed.

What is the Porvoo Communion?
The Porvoo Communion is a Communion of churches, mostly in Northern Europe, that have signed an agreement to “share a common life in mission and service”. The churches that signed the agreement are The Evangelical-Lutheran Churches of Estonia, Lithuania, Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Finland and the Anglican churches: Church of England and of Ireland, Church in Wales and the Scottish Episcopal Church. Two churches from South Europe also belong to the Porvoo Communion. They are the Lusitanian Church in Portugal and the Reformed Episcopal Church of Spain.
The name Porvoo comes from from the Porvoo Cathedral in Finland where the eucharist was celebrated on the final Sunday of the conversations leading to the Common Statement and thus finally to the Porvoo Communion.
Why these churches?
The big national churches in Northern Europe, which participated in the first steps towards the Porvoo Communion, have a great deal in common: their history, liturgy, identity and their understanding of the Church’s mission today bear great resemblances and they are all episcopal churches, that is churches where the office of oversight, the episcope, has been constant from the time of reformation. Other churches which joined at different steps share most of these elements and have greatly enriched the Porvoo Communion.
What are the key factors in the Porvoo Common Statement?
In the Common Statement the Porvoo Churches reached an agreement on the nature and purpose of the church, on its faith and doctrine, specifically on the apostolicity of the whole Church, on the apostolic ministry within it, and on the episcopal office in the service of the Church.

You can read more about the Porvoo Churches at

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