Our Solemn Declaration of Principles

We ... being members of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, united by Faith to Him who is Head over all things to the Church which is His body; and recognizing the essential unity of all who, by a like faith, are united to the one divine and common Head, do make solemn declaration of our Principles as follows:

• We hold the Christian faith as uniquely revealed in the Holy Scriptures, and professed by the Christian Church from primitive times, and in particular, as set forth in the Catholic Creeds and the Formularies of the reformed Church of England, that is, The Thirty Nine Articles of Religion of 1571 and The Book of Common Prayer and the Administration of the Sacraments and other rites and ceremonies, together with the Psalter or Psalms of David, and the Form and Manner of Making, Ordaining, and Consecrating of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons issued in the Church of England in 1662. We stand in the Reformation tradition, laying special emphasis on the grace of God.

• We receive all the Canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as being the Word of God written and the ultimate Rule and Standard of Faith and Life of the Church, given by the inspiration of God and containing all things necessary for salvation. We admit post-apostolic traditions only so far as they are agreeable with the teaching of the New Testament. We affirm the following principles of Scripture interpretation: The Old Testament is to be interpreted in the light of the New, and all parts of the New Testament are of equal and apostolic authority. No part of Scripture is to be interpreted in a way that contradicts or excludes any other part.

• We accept the doctrine of the reformed Church of England as set forth in the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion of 1571 as understood in their plain, natural, and intended sense; and in particular we declare our belief in the doctrines of grace as they are set forth in Articles 6 through 18 thereof. We allow that parts of the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion of 1571 such as Article 37 assume and name political structures that do not directly apply to Anglicans or Anglican churches outside of the United Kingdom.

• We affirm that a due exercise of Christian discipline is a mark of the faithful Church and that the government of the Christian community properly belongs under God to the Church as a whole, both clergy and laity together, and not exclusively to the office of bishop or to any other particular office.

• We affirm that the Christian Ministry according to the New Testament is not a sacerdotal ministry but was instituted for the purpose of preaching, teaching, and pastoral oversight, and therefore reject all practices which imply a sacerdotal character of the Ministry, and further reject all theories of the sacraments which imply that the ministerial action invariably conveys grace.

• While affirming the spiritual gifts of women and the vital contribution of women to the life and ministry of Christ’s Church, we find no support in Scripture for women presbyters and women bishops and only very weak support for women deacons, and consequently we cannot affirm the ordination of women due to the lack of clear and convincing evidence that the practice is agreeable with the holy Scriptures.

• We affirm that the true unity of Christ's Church is a unity in faith, doctrine, and love and not of ministerial orders or external uniformity, and hold that the Lord's people should openly express this unity in particular at the Lord's Table as well as in other ways of witness and worship. While recognizing the threefold ministry as the historical norm of the reformed Church of England, we deny that non-episcopal orders are inconsistent with Scripture or other wise defective and constitute a barrier to reunion.

• We affirm that the highest priority of Christ’s Church is the spread of the Gospel of divine grace and the fulfillment our Lord’s Great Commission to go and make disciples of all people groups, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them all that Christ has commanded.

• We affirm what the Holy Scriptures teach, which is, that marriage is union between a man and a woman and sexual relations outside that context is sinful in God’s eyes. While sexual relations outside of marriage would normally be an impediment to gospel ministry, we do not believe that they should disqualify even from ordination those who have ceased from such relations and evidence true repentance and amendment of life.

• We are determined by the help of God to uphold and preserve the Doctrine, Sacraments, and Discipline of Christ as the Lord has commanded in his Holy Word, and as the reformed Church of England has received and set forth in her Formularies; and to transmit the same unimpaired to our posterity.

• We, as Christians in the Protestant and Reformed tradition, do hereby re-affirm our constant witness against all those innovations in doctrine and worship, whereby the primitive Faith has been from time to time defaced or overlaid, and which at the Reformation were disowned and rejected.