The Anglican Church is ecumenical in nature. It sees itself as part of the whole
household of God within each local community as well as throughout the world. It
does not claim to be the only Church nor does it recognise any other churchs exclusive
In discussions with all denominations, Anglicans generally believe four things need
to be agreed before reunion can take place. These conditions were explained in the
Lambeth Quadrilateral a statement adopted by the Anglican bishops when they met
at Lambeth, England in 1888. Reunion must involve:
- The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, as containing all things
necessary to salvation, and as being the rule and ultimate standard of faith.
- The Apostles Creed, the Baptismal Symbol; and the Nicene Creed, as the sufficient
statement of the Christian faith.
- The two Sacraments ordained by Christ himself - Baptism and the Supper of
the Lord - ministered with the unfailing use of Christs words of institution, and
of the elements ordained by him.
- The historic Episcopate, locally adapted in the methods of its administration
to the varying needs of the nations and peoples called of God into the unity of
These four components - Scripture, Creed, Sacrament and Episcopate - reflect the
fundamentals of Anglicanism and the signposts for a re-integration of the presently
divided Christian Church.
The Anglican Church of Australia is committed to ecumenical dialogue and overcoming
impediments to fellowship with Christians of other traditions. The Ecumenical Strategies
Working Group laid a strong foundation for much of the work that has been undertaken
since 2001 by the Ecumenical Relations Commission. Members of the Commission have
been heavily involved in bilateral discussions with the Roman Catholic Church, Oriental
Orthodox Churches, the Uniting Church, the Lutheran Church and the Orthodox Churches
at an international level.