St Gabriel's Church is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion - a fellowship of around 85 million Christians under the spiritual leadership of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Certain other churches are in full communion with us, including the European Old Catholic Church, the Nordic and Baltic Lutheran Episcopal Churches, the united churches of the Indian sub-continent, and the Indian Mar Thoma Church. In total we are over 100,000,000 (one hundred million) Christians in fellowship together under the authority and leadership of the Archbishop of Canterbury. (Archbishop Justin Illustrated below).
We hold fast to the teachings of the early "Ecumenical Councils" - that is, to those gatherings of Bishops from around the world which took place in the days before the Church first became divided into different denominations.
We teach the faith received and codified in the 'Catholic Creeds' - that is, the Apostles' Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed.
We believe that God's single greatest revelation of himself to mankind was the Incarnation - the birth, life, ministry, passion, death, resurrection, and ascension of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; as such we seek to lead incarnational lives, taking Jesus, the Good Shepherd, as our constant model and inspiration. We also believe in God's continuous revelation of himself to mankind through the guiding work of the Holy Spirit, who has always been present in the life of the created world, but since the Day of Pentecost has dwelt in the very midst of the Church, and in the heart of every believer who has received him there; we believe that in Confirmation each individual receives gifts of the Holy Spirit particular to his or her ministry and vocational calling.
We believe in the Holy Scriptures of the Old Testament and the New Testament as the revealed Word of God, containing all things necessary for salvation. We hold to the Anglican tradition of basing our faith upon "Scripture, Tradition, & Reason'. In other words, our faith is governed by the teachings of Scripture, by the developed tradition of the Church (which has developed under the guidance of the Holy Spirit), and in the God-given gift of human reason by which we interpret these ancient truths and proclaim them afresh in each generation.
As Anglicans we believe in the government of the Church by Bishops, and in the ordained ministry of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, supported by a huge range of lay ministries, including Licensed Lay Ministers, Commissioned Lay Ministers, Religious (monks & nuns), Evangelists, Missionaries, and indeed the individual vocational ministries of each member of each congregation.
We celebrate the two Sacraments of Holy Baptism (God's cleansing forgiveness, freely given, through blessed water), and the Holy Eucharist (Jesus' own body and blood, freely given for our spiritual nourishment, through blessed bread and wine); and we hold these great sacraments, commanded in scripture, to be necessary for salvation. We also recognise God's use of other sacramental gifts to feed and sustain his church - in particular in the sacramental celebration of Unction (anointing the sick with oil), Confirmation as a channel of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, Holy Matrimony (Christian marriage), Holy Orders (Christian ordination), and Reconciliation (the gift of confession with forgiveness of sins).
At St Gabriel's we hold to an open policy of welcome and worship. This means that everybody is welcome at any of our church services. We recognise our own sinfulness, and as such we do not judge others, lest we ourselves be judged. Our worship is open to all people of any gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, age, or creed - we care about people's present and their future, so we do not waste time judging anybody's past.