What is the Church of Ireland?
The Church of Ireland is a province of the Christian Anglican Communion. Christianity is the world's largest religion, with upwards of 2 billion followers on every continent. It is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ who lived in the Holy Land 2,000 years ago.
What is Anglicanism? Anglicanism is one of the traditions, or expressions, of this Christian faith. Other Christian traditions include Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Protestant Churches, which include Lutheran, Baptist, and Pentecostal Churches. The word Anglican originates in ecclesia anglicana, a medieval Latin phrase dating to at least 1246 that means the English Church, but in the past two centuries the tradition has been adopted around the world. Now 85 million members are part of national or regional Churches that call themselves Anglican (or Episcopal in some countries) which collectively are known as the Anglican Communion.
Anglicans and Episcopalians the world over share aspects of their history, tradition and ways of worshipping. But no two churches are exactly alike even within a diocese, let alone a province or between countries. This unity in diversity is one of the things that make the Anglican Communion so special and such rich ground from which to change to world.
What do we believe?
In keeping with Anglican theology, our beliefs and practices derive from Scripture, reason and tradition. We are Catholic in holding all the Christian faith in its fullness and being part of the one worldwide Church of God. We are Reformed in believing that the Church’s life should be aligned with Scripture and that the Church should only require its members to believe those doctrines to which Scripture bears witness.
'We are disciples of Jesus Christ, worshippers of God the Holy Trinity and subscribers to the Creeds of the early Church'.
We rejoice in the progress on unity made by the ecumenical movement and we seek to remove obstacles to full communion between Christians and to gain from the insight and experience of others.We provide a context in which people of diverse views on theology and liturgy can live and worship together.
'We regard worship as a priority for every Christian'.
In particular, we see the Holy Communion (the Eucharist) as the main way in which church members celebrate their love for God and for each other and become renewed as the Body of Christ for mission and service.
The Book of Common Prayer is a source of unity within the Church and an expression of a liturgical language, traditional and modern, which over the years has captivated people by its beauty and spiritual power. We see a direct relationship between the language of common prayer and the language of doctrine: the words that church members themselves pray and own become the expression of what the Church itself believes.
We affirm the ancient three–fold ministry of bishops, priests and deacons. The ordained ministry serves the whole people of God, to facilitate and encourage its members in their worship, and to enable each of them to identify their own particular ministry as baptised Christians.