St Mary's Castle Street

We preach Christ crucified

The 39 Articles of Religion

What do Anglicans believe?


The answer may seem obvious, and we would, I trust, all answer it by saying we believe what the Bible teaches. I would hope this is true. This still begs a question; what does the Bible teach? We have what are known as the formularies, the statements of doctrine agreed by the Church and expressed in various forms. These are the Book of Common Prayer, the Ordinal and the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion. The systematic setting out of that doctrine is found of course in the Articles. This series will provide an introduction to the Articles, to show what we believe.

The Thirty-nine Articles are found at the back of our Prayer Book, and we ought to read them through from time to time. They fall into five sections. Articles 1–5 deal with the doctrine of God, 6–18 of salvation, 19–24 of the Church, 25–31 the sacraments, and 32–39 deal with discipline and living in a Christian society. Many reformed Christians who are not Anglicans agree with the first thirty-three, and only leave aside the last few. In the same way Anglicans ought to be able to agree with much that is contained in all the Reformed confessions of faith, though in those matters where we have a distinctive position we will not agree.