Newcomers are always welcome at any Anglican church. There are no membership fees and you don't have to fill in any forms. Anyone can attend any Anglican service and see what happens.
Most churches have notice boards outside listing service times and contact numbers. Further information may be found in the telephone book or you can also keep up to date on special services and events on our website.
There are two ceremonies relevant to becoming a fully functional Anglican. The first is Baptism, and the second is Confirmation.
Baptism is a ceremony representative of spiritual cleansing, 'renewing' a person upon entry into the Church. Originally the recipient was fully immersed in water; a modern baptism in the Anglican Church involves a ceremonial sprinkling of water on the head, and special prayers.
Some people are baptized as babies. This is an indication that the parents have decided to bring up their child as a Christian. In this case, people can be Confirmed when they are old enough to make their own decision to be part of the Church.
You can take part in most of the activities of the Church without going through either of these procedures, and there are no rules about how soon, or how late, you should make a formal commitment. Talk to your friendly parish priest about it some time.
The Church can bring you closer to God. We believe this is more important than anything in 'ordinary' physical existence. It can also help teach you to become a better person by living in a more 'God-like' way. The Church answers the human need for something greater than themselves in which to believe, and gives our lives a sense of meaning.
The Church also provides community with fellow humans, all working towards a common goal.
Many Christians become involved in the life of their Church in ways other than simple attendance. Many functions in a church service, such as reading lessons from the Bible, can be undertaken by any member of the congregation. Many churches have choirs and music groups.
Parishes also run groups which operate outside the confines of Sunday services. These include youth groups, studies and courses, and community service organizations.
Christians can also become qualified as ministers. Becoming a priest requires several years of study, and a deep commitment to Christianity. However, all Christians have a part to play, using their own individual talents in their everyday lives to further the work of the Church and bring the world a little closer to the way God wants it to be.
Text copyright Alan Firth, St John's Roslyn, Dunedin, New Zealand. Used by permission. Edited by Canon Michael Patterson, Anglican Diocese of Niagara, Hamilton, Ontario