Agreement of Communion
Whereas the Christian Episcopal Church of Canada and the Christian Episcopal Church in the United States of America are both national Catholic and Apostolic Churches of the Anglican tradition, and are Successors and Heirs of the Church of England and of the Scottish Episcopal Church in their respective Countries;
And whereas the Church of England in the Cayman Islands is and represents the Established Church of England within the British Overseas Territory of the Cayman Islands, and by a Royal Order in Council of 1634 made during the reign of King Charles the First of England the Lord Bishop of London possesses all legal and public Episcopal authority and jurisdiction over the Cayman Islands; yet that lawful Episcopal authority and jurisdiction has for many years not been exercised;
And whereas the Christian Episcopal Church of Canada, the Christian Episcopal Church in the United States of America, and the Church of England in the Cayman Islands, are integral Portions and Members of the One Body of Jesus Christ, and their members are in agreement in matters of Faith and Doctrine, Order and Discipline;
And whereas the Christian Episcopal Church of Canada, the Christian Episcopal Church in the United States of America, and the Church of England in the Cayman Islands, have been drawn together in mutual support one of another, and their members have accepted one another as Brethren in full fellowship and communion within the body of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church;
Now therefore, in order to perfect this Agreement, and to strengthen the bonds of fellowship and communion, as well as to ensure Goodwill, Peace, and Concord within the boundaries of the common Settlement of Religion upon which each respective Church has been founded, the Christian Episcopal Church of Canada, the Christian Episcopal Church in the United States of America, and the Church of England in the Cayman Islands, do hereby make the following Agreement of Communion and pledge themselves to the best of their ability to uphold and maintain the same:
While accepting the orthodoxy, validity, integrity, and independence of each Church, full and visible fellowship and communion shall exist among the Christian Episcopal Church of Canada, the Christian Episcopal Church in the United States of America, and the Church of England in the Cayman Islands, built upon the Foundation of the following Twelve Articles:
1. That the canonical Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are Divinely inspired and are the supreme, final, and binding Authority in all matters of Faith and Morals;
2. That the Three Creeds of the One undivided Church, that is to say, The Apostles’ Creed, The Nicene Creed, and The Creed of Saint Athanasius, shall suffice as the authoritative symbols of the Catholic Religion;
3. That the Dogmatic Definitions of the undisputed Ecumenical Councils of the One undivided Church shall suffice as the authoritative and true expressions of the orthodox Christian Faith;
4. That there are two Sacraments of the Gospel only, that is to say, Holy Baptism and the Lord’s Supper (which is also called the Holy Eucharist), both of which were instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ, and are generally necessary to be received by all Christians for their eternal salvation;
5. That the true Catholic Doctrines of the Eucharistic Sacrifice and the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist are essential for a correct and proper understanding of the meaning, purpose, and function of the Lord’s Supper within the Body of Christ’s Church;
6. That the other Five sacred Mysteries which are commonly called Sacraments, that is to say, Confirmation, Penance, Matrimony, Orders, and Unction, are also of Divine institution and Apostolic foundation, and are to be esteemed and used as such within the Church of God as real means of grace to be received according to each believer’s profession and calling in Christ;
7. That the Three-fold Sacred Ministry consisting of the Orders of Bishop, Priest, and Deacon, and the genuine Apostolic Succession, are likewise of Divine institution and Apostolic foundation, and are absolutely essential for the valid transmission of Sacramental grace, and the perfecting of the Saints thereby;
8. That the Holy Scriptures and the unbroken Tradition of the Church of God require that the conferral of the Three Orders of the Sacred Ministry is to be restricted absolutely only to baptised male Christians;
9. That the sanctity and dignity of all Human Life, of Marriage, and of the Family, was established from the beginning by Divine decree and ordinance, and that by their very nature they are sacred, and must be protected, preserved, and upheld as such within both the Church of God and Civil Society;
10. That the Church of God, and every baptised Christian believer within her, ought always to look forward with joyful expectation to the blessed hope of the Lord’s Second Coming and the establishing of His kingdom;
11. That the Authorised Version of the Holy Bible, set forth for use in 1611 during the reign of King James the First of England, is to be accepted and upheld as the one authorised and common translation of the Holy Scriptures appointed to be read at Divine Service and in the Administration of the Sacraments;
12. That the Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England, set forth for use in 1662 during the reign of King Charles the Second of England, is to be accepted and upheld as the common foundation of the Public Liturgy.
To each and every one of these Twelve precedent Articles We the Bishops, of the Christian Episcopal Church of Canada, and of the Christian Episcopal Church in the United States of America, and in the Church of England in the Cayman Islands, acting as Representatives respectively on behalf of the Clergy and People of the Three Churches, do agree and give Our consent thereunto, thereby bringing the Three Churches into full fellowship and communion one with another, and We invite all other faithful orthodox Anglican Churches and Individuals to do the same.
In token whereof We have hereunto set Our Hands this Twenty-sixth Day of January, in the Year of Our Lord 2012, the Feast of Saint Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr, at the City of Richmond, in the Province of British Columbia of the Dominion of Canada.
Theodore Chris Casimes, Presiding Bishop for North America.
Robert David Redmile, Bishop of Richmond, British Columbia.
Timothy Joseph Klerekoper, Bishop of Seattle, Washington.
Nicholas John Geoffrey Sykes, Bishop-elect for George Town, Cayman Islands.