For those of us who are part of the Diocese of Melbourne it is important that we reflect on what it means to be an Anglican, or to use contemporary terminology, what is distinctive about Anglican ‘spirituality’. We are the most diverse diocese in Australia. On the theological level we have anglo-catholic, liberal catholic, reformed evangelical, evangelicals of other persuasions and charismatic parishes well represented, growing numbers of Chinese congregations and several other ethnic parishes, as well as a complete range of ages. What we see in our diocese at a micro level is magnified on the world scene.
Today, the Anglican Communion is an association of national Anglican churches organised as dioceses in 160 countries with a membership of approximately 80 million people. Following the Reformation of the church in England in the 16th century, catholic and evangelical emphases were from this point part of Anglicanism. The theological differences were for centuries contained within a common liturgical practice grounded in English culture. However in recent times doctrinal, liturgical and cultural diversity has become more pronounced and so differing spiritualities live side by side within Anglicanism. Today the Anglican Communion embraces evangelicals and anglo-catholics (with liberal and conservative strands in both cases), theological radicals and demonstrative charismatics, all modified by the ethnic and cultural variety of the Communion....
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