The Christian Episcopal Church of Canada
According to the Constitution and Canons of our Church, the Christian Episcopal Church of Canada is a “national Catholic and Apostolic Church of the Anglican Tradition”, and an heir and successor of the Church of England and the old Church of England in Canada. The Christian Episcopal Church of Canada is therefore a living branch and integral portion of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, and as such believes, upholds, and maintains the orthodox Faith and Religion as it was believed, upheld, and maintained by the undivided Christian Church.
This means that the Faith, Order, Worship, and Discipline of the Christian Episcopal Church of Canada is that which was common to the whole orthodox Christian Church before the Great Schism of 1054, when the Latin Church of the West and the Greek Church of the East broke communion and separated one from the other. To quote the Vincentian Canon, a law in the early Church which lays down the rule for how to discern whether or not any religious body is indeed a portion of the true Church, “Now in the Catholic Church itself we take the greatest care to hold that which has been believed everywhere, always and by all. That is truly and properly “Catholic”, as is shown by the very force and meaning of the word, which comprehends everything almost universally. We shall hold to this rule if we follow universality, antiquity, and consent. We shall follow universality if we acknowledge that one Faith to be true which the whole Church throughout the world confesses; antiquity if we in no wise depart from those interpretations which it is clear that our ancestors and fathers proclaimed; and consent if in antiquity itself we keep following the definitions and opinions of all, or certainly nearly all, bishops and doctors alike.”
So, in other words, whatever was believed, upheld, and maintained by the undivided Church before the Great Schism, that is what the Christian Episcopal Church of Canada believes, upholds, and maintains today. That is what we mean by “orthodox”, and that is what we mean by saying that our Church is both “Catholic” and “Apostolic”. And that is what we share with our brethren not only in other orthodox Anglican Churches, but also, in the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Catholic Churches, in the Greek, Russian, Ukrainian, and Bulgarian Orthodox Churches, and in any other orthodox Churches which hold to the Faith and Order of the undivided Church.
This, then, is the position of the Christian Episcopal Church of Canada: we believe in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, the three Great Creeds of the Catholic Church, and the Dogmatic Definitions of the undisputed Oecumenical Councils; we accept and minister seven Sacraments given to us by Jesus Christ Himself through His holy Apostles, of which Holy Baptism and Holy Communion are the two Sacraments generally necessary to salvation; we maintain the threefold Sacred Ministry of the Orders of Bishop, Priest, and Deacon, and the integrity and fullness of the unbroken Apostolic Succession; we believe in the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death; and we believe in the sanctity of the Christian Family, and uphold family life as the true foundation of civilised human society.
We are an Anglican Church, which means that we are the inheritors of the wisdom, strength, and beauty of the Anglican Religious Settlement first established during the reign of Queen Elizabeth the First, and later approved by the Bishops of the Church of England and the Convocations of Canterbury and York and so established by Law by the Authority of King Charles the Second. This means that the standards for worship are the Authorised Version of the Bible given to us by King James the First in 1611, and the Book of Common Prayer of 1662 given to us by King Charles the Second which forms the basis for our public Liturgy.
The Christian Episcopal Church of Canada has a presence not only in Canada, but also in the Cayman Islands and in the Channel Islands. We are in full sacramental communion with the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada, and have thereby a relationship with the Traditional Anglican Communion. And we are still officially a part of the old Anglican Communion, albeit in a state of “impaired communion” with much of it due to the several issues concerning doctrine and discipline which have brought about schism and deep division within the wider Church.
This, then, is who we are: we are a traditional continuation of orthodox Anglican Christianity in Canada; and we invite any and all who wish to share with us in experiencing our beautiful and precious Anglican heritage, and to make use of this wonderful means of grace to draw closer to God and to walk with Him down the pathway that leads us to eternal life.