What's an Anglican?

The word "Anglican" refers to the Christian church that came to the land of the Angles (England), dating back to the 2nd century when the early followers of Jesus brought the good news there. For that reason it is evangelical and missionary by nature.  The Anglican church has a rich history that is part early church (or Patristic), Celtic, and Roman, but it has also been influenced by the Orthodox church, so it's roots are also ancient.  

During the Reformation in the 15th Century, the western Church underwent some very necessary reforms (both Protestant and Catholic), and though the English Church moved away from Roman control, it remained catholic, meaning it was faithful to the beliefs held universally by all Christians. Lastly, as the Anglican church is traces back to the early Apostles, it also believes in the Holy Spirit, so we are also Apostolic and Charismatic.  

Some would call the Anglican Church the Reformed Catholic church, while some would call it a Liturgical Protestant church. No matter what we call it, we have a "big tent"!  The bottom line is we are a faithful orthodox Christian Church characterized by ancient and sacramental worship, evangelical and missionary zeal, as well as a catholic and charismatic nature. 

Today, "Anglican" refers more to a global church than being English - it's the third largest branch of Christianity.  This is especially true because the majority of Anglicans live outside England in countries like Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda.  Nigeria has more Christians than all of England, the US, and Canada combined!  It also refers to the way in which we worship, as discussed above.

This is an impossibly short explanation, and very general, but it's to give you a quick overview.  To find out more about the Anglican Church in North America, click here.  To learn more about the movement of broader Anglican Church, click here.