This gem of a photo was found in a Google image search of “Anglican Worship” and representative of what the tiniest sliver of the Anglican world currently looks like and how they worship, but it would not be representative of the average Anglican!
Of the 80 million Anglicans Worldwide, projected to be 150 million in 2050, most are people of color and live in Africa and Asia. They are people of passionate faith who regularly and happily share their faith with the lost, who invite people to Bible study, Alpha or Life Group Bible study, who read their bibles, pray and even dance in worship! While almost all Anglicans use one of the Anglican Books of Common Prayer, (which are brilliant bible-based liturgies of Word and Sacrament based on the First Book of Common Prayer in the Church of England, penned by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer in 1549), the outward trappings can vary tremendously. That is a strength!
Some Anglicans worship like our CHS family of churches and are a bit more casual and enjoy both the ancient and the new!
But most of the Anglicans around the world are not financially wealthy, live in Africa or Asia, and have clergy who are BETTER educated than their wealthy western Anglican family. And the beauty of the Anglican world is that there is freedom to look, dress and worship differently. Actually, most of us have found that the Anglican family has tremendous dissimilarity in externals but tremendous similarity in all the key ways of walking with Jesus: Word, Sacraments, Wide participation by the whole church, Prayer, Bishops (overseers), Priests (presbyters), and Deacons, Real Bread, Real Wine (except during Covid?!).
Let me recommend to you the awesome little book written by my friend Winfield Bevins, called SIMPLY ANGLICAN. Winfield is a Jesus-loving, mission-driven Christian who formerly was Baptist and then in the non-denom world but eventually joyfully embraced Anglicanism. Winfield reminds me of my dream candidate for ordination: Think very relatable former Young Life leader, who walks in the Spirit, has traveled the world, went to Oxford and got trained in bible and theology by J.I. Packer and John Stott. In other words, he is rock solid, fun and an influential voice in our day.
He wrote this short little book to help folks who are considering becoming an Anglican Christian or who have, but do not know, what our distinctives are. Our staff and vestry are reading one chapter each time we meet, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. In fact, I think this is such a great resource, if you buy it, read it and regret doing so, I will buy your copy back from you!
Chapters include a brief history, Anglican beliefs, The Book of Common Prayer (form and freedom), How Anglicans Worship, Sacraments, Scripture, Holy Orders and Church structure, Anglican Mission Today, The Via Media (Middle Way), etc.
Without further ado, here is the link: https://amzn.to/2MxAN1Q.
Risk free as I will rebuy it under the above provision that you actually read the whole book.
As my friend and fellow vestry member Andy told his then 12-year-old son, “Stand Up, Caine! You are a proud Anglican son!”