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 church’s exclusive claim.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. The Apostles Creed, the Baptismal Symbol; and the Nicene Creed, as the sufficient statement of the Christian faith.
  3. The two Sacraments ordained by Christ himself - Baptism and the Supper of the Lord - ministered with the unfailing use of Christ’s words of institution, and of the elements ordained by him.
  4. 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 his Church.

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.