Statement of Faith

Church of The Apostles

Evangelical Anglican

170 Fairview Avenue, Coventry, Rhode Island

STATEMENT OF FAITH

Excerpted from the Church of The Apostles
Constitution and Bylaws

1. The Church of The Apostles (Evangelical Anglican), 170 Fairview Avenue, Coventry, Rhode Island, is an autonomous Christian Congregation rooted in the confessional and ordered liturgical Anglican tradition. The Church of The Apostles is, therefore, a Congregation upholding the orthodox Christian Faith of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, as revealed in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, as confessed in the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, and as defined in the original (English/Latin) version of the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion of 1571.

2. The Church of The Apostles faithfully lives the Christian Faith through the bold proclamation of the Word of God and in the joyful celebrations of Baptism and the Supper of the Lord, “the two Sacraments ordained of Christ our Lord in the Gospel” and which are “effectual signs of grace” (Article XXV, Thirty-nine Articles of Religion).

3. The Church of The Apostles teaches that the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the rule and ultimate standard of the Christian Faith and “containeth all things necessary to salvation” (Article VI, Thirty-nine Articles).

4. The Church of The Apostles further teaches that the authority of the Church is not over that of the Scriptures: “Wherefore, although the Church be a witness and keeper of Holy Writ, yet, as it ought not to decree anything against the same, so besides the same ought it not to enforce any thing to be believed for necessity of Salvation” (Article XX, Thirty-nine Articles). Likewise, “it is not lawful for the Church to ordain any thing that is contrary to God’s Word written, neither may it so expound one place of Scripture, that it be repugnant to another” (Article XX, Thirty-nine Articles).

5. The Church of The Apostles also teaches that “the true Church is a Universal Congregation or fellowship of God’s faithful and elect people, ‘built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the head cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20).’”[1] The Church of The Apostles, therefore, in particular, propagates the distinct evangelical belief that the Church Catholic “hath always three notes or marks whereby it is known. Pure doctrine, the Sacraments ministered according to Christ’s holy institution, and the right use of Ecclesiastical Discipline.”[2]

1. Pure doctrine. “We are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by Faith, and not for our own works or deservings”  (Article XI, Thirty-nine Articles; see Ephesians 2:8-9).

2. The Sacraments ministered according to Christ’s holy institution. “The visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men, in which the pure Word of God is preached, and the Sacraments be duly ministered according to Christ’s ordinance”  (Article XIX, Thirty-nine Articles).

3. The right use of Ecclesiastical Discipline. “It appertaineth to the discipline of the Church, that inquiry be made of evil Ministers [of the Word and Sacraments], and that they be accused by those that have knowledge of their offences; and finally being found guilty by just judgment, be deposed” (Article XXVI, Thirty-nine Articles).

Likewise, “that [baptized] person which by open denunciation of the Church is rightly cut off from the unity of the Church, and excommunicated, ought to be taken of the whole multitude of the faithful, as an Heathen [“Pagan”] and Publican [“Swindler”], until he be openly reconciled by penance, and received into the Church by a Judge that hath authority thereto” (Article XXXIII, Thirty-nine Articles).

The above description of the three marks of the Church Universal, the Church of The Apostles believes and teaches, “is agreeable both to the Scriptures of God, and also to the doctrine of the ancient fathers, so that none may justly find fault therewith.”[3]


[1] Quoted from Sermon No. 16 (“Of the gifts of the Holy Ghost”) of The Second Book of Homilies of 1562 of the Church of England. Article XXXV of the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion of 1571 of the Church of England gives confessional authority to the Homilies: “The second Book of Homilies, the several titles whereof we have joined under this Article, doth contain a godly and wholesome Doctrine, and necessary for these times…; therefore we judge them to be read in Churches by the Ministers, diligently and distinctly, that they may be understanded of the people” (Article XXXV).

[2] Sermon No. 16 (“Of the gifts of the Holy Ghost”) of The Second Book of Homilies.

[3] Ibid.