The Free Episcopal Church is shaped by the spiritual legacy of the Anglican apostolic tradition, and by the critical insights of the English Free Church traditions.
In many ways we resemble the Episcopal Church in the U.S., and the Church of England. We honor the historic 3-fold apostolic ministry of bishop, presbyter, and deacon. Our bishops are both the servants and the shepherds of our Church. The 1979 Book of Common Prayer is the basis for our worship life and our prayer life. The historic Anglican Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion shape our faith. Scripture, Tradition, and Reason together are the grounds for gaining understanding and making choices.
As Anglicans, we celebrate the two sacraments instituted by Jesus: Baptism and the Eucharist (or Holy Communion). We also celebrate the other traditional sacramental rites of the Church (as means of grace, but not necessary for our salvation): confirmation, reconciliation, marriage, ordination, and anointing. We practice open Communion, and place no humanly created barriers to the Sacraments. Our salvation lies in the coming together of Church as Body of Christ.
As Anglicans we are heirs of the Protestant Reformation. We know that salvation is through faith (the fundamental orientation of the soul) alone. It is our faith that gives integrity to our actions, thoughts, and intentions. We affirm and celebrate the priesthood of all believers. We claim in particular the insights of the English Reformers (especially Cranmer, Hooker, and the Wesleys) to find our path at the balance point “between Rome and Geneva”: the via media, or middle way. Our salvation lies in our personal relationship with Christ.
In one vital way we stand apart from many of our Christian sisters and brothers: we are a community where all people are welcome regardless of the categories which divide us (age, ethnicity, physical ability, gender, social class, sexuality, marital status, and so on). Those fights for a rightful place at the Table, which threaten to tear apart so many faith groups, are not part of our lives together, past or present. As God's Creation is a sublime web of diversity-in-unity, so the Church must also reflect this. Our salvation lies in uniting through our diversity in this great web of Creation.