Our Beliefs

St. Thomas is part of the Anglican Church of Canada, which, in turn, is a part of the worldwide Christian Church. Christians believe that Jesus of Nazareth, a first-century Jewish carpenter and preacher from modern-day Palestine, was, in fact, God incarnate. If you are completely new to Christianity, we suggest that you visit  the History website to learn more about Jesus Christ and the Christian faith.

There are more than two billion Christians worldwide. There are four main branches of Christianity:

  1. The Orthodox Church, Eastern and Oriental
  2. The Roman Catholic Church
  3. The Protestant Churches
  4. The Anglican Church

Anglicans are influenced by both the Roman Catholic and Protestant traditions.

Anglican Beliefs

As a partner in the worldwide Anglican Communion and in the universal Church, our members come from many different races and cultures and speak many different languages.  We are unified by our belief in the transforming love and power of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  We believe that God offers unconditional love and the divine life to those who place their trust and faith in him and who strive to follow Christ’s teachings of compassion, justice, mercy, respect, and love towards others.

Anglicans experience the power of these beliefs in their worship, especially in the Holy Eucharist, in which God's life-giving love is experienced through engagement with the Gospel and through the sharing of a meal hosted by God, in which we and all people are God's honoured guests.

It is in the context of worship that Anglicans come know who they trust in and believe.  It is worship that shapes Anglicans for their life of stewardship and service in the world.

Our work as a church is shaped by the "Five Marks of Mission":

  • To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
  • To teach, baptize and nurture new believers
  • To respond to human need by loving service
  • To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation
  • To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth
Anglican Doctrine

The Anglican Church of Canada does not define its doctrine in a single confession. Our beliefs are articulated in our liturgies, as well as in these selected statements:

  • The Solemn Declaration (1893) united the Anglican Church of Canada as a national church and defined its relationship to the worldwide Anglican Communion.
  • The Lambeth Quadrilateral (1888) defined the commonalities of churches in the Anglican Communion and has also served as a basis for ecumenical discussion.
History of Anglicanism

The Anglican Church of Canada has its roots in the Church of England. The Church of England became independent from the Roman Catholic Church during the Reformation in the 16th century. For more details on the history of the Church of England, see An Ancient Church, Catholic and Reformed on the Church of England's website.

Anglicanism developed and spread outside England in two stages:

  1. Beginning in the 17th century, it was established alongside colonies in the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, India, the West Indies and Guyana.
  2. Beginning in the 18th century, missionaries worked to establish Anglican churches in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

For more information about the history of the Anglican Church in Canada, read A Brief History on the Anglican Church of Canada's website.

Anglicans Today

Anglicans worldwide have common beliefs, practices and ways of worship, which are expressed locally in many languages and customs. The whole Anglican family worldwide has more than 80 million members in 165 countries, and is known as the Anglican Communion. While each national or regional church within the Communion is autonomous, the Archbishop of Canterbury is its spiritual head and the chief sign of its unity.

The Most Rev. Linda Nicholls is the head (called the “Primate”) of the Anglican Church of Canada. The Anglican Church of Canada is divided into regional areas called “dioceses”.  Each diocese has its own bishop, who has responsibility for the spiritual well-being and administration of the churches within their area. 

St. Thomas is part of the Diocese of New Westminster, which consists of 67 worshiping communities, serving together across the southwest part of the province of British Columbia, from the Sunshine Coast to the west to Hope located 150 kilometers east of the City of Vancouver. The Diocese of New Westminster was established in 1879. The ninth bishop of New Westminster is The Most Reverend Melissa Skelton.


For more information about the Anglican Church, visit one or more of the links below.


About Anglicanism.” The Diocese of Toronto, www.toronto.anglican.ca/about-the-diocese/being-anglican/about-anglicanism/. 

Our Beliefs.” The Anglican Church of Canada, www.anglican.ca/about/beliefs/.  Used with permission granted via email by Alice Namu on March 4, 2020.

Worship & Believing.” Anglican Diocese of New Westminster, www.vancouver.anglican.ca/anglican-church/worship-believing.  Used with permission granted via email by Randy Murray, Communications Officer, Diocese of New Westminster, on February 29, 2020.