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The Church of Ireland

The Prayer Book of the Church of Ireland contains historical statements of our belief, most chiefly the Preamble and Declaration and the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion. The Preamble and Declaration was made by the Bishops and representatives of clergy and church members in 1870 to show that it was 'business as usual', that even though it was no longer the official state church in Ireland, the Church of Ireland would continue to believe and practise the same faith. The Articles of Religion set the standard for what you expect to hear in a Church of Ireland pulpit - every bishop, cleric and reader is required to believe and teach what the Articles contain.

In the Preamble and Declaration, our church is described as "the Ancient Catholic and Apostolic Church of Ireland". The Church of Ireland is therefore Ancient and Irish. The Church of Ireland did not start at the Reformation in the sixteenth century. We are part of the Church in Ireland which was influenced by the Reformation and benefitted from its teachings, but we would trace our origins to the early Celtic Church of St Patrick.

The Church of Ireland is also Catholic and Apostolic. The word 'Catholic' should not be confused with 'Roman Catholic'. We are Catholic in that we are part of the church worldwide, believing what the church worldwide has always believed, as expressed in the three Creeds in our Prayer Book - the Apostles', Nicene and Athanasian Creeds. We also continue to administer the sacraments Christ has given to his church - Baptism and Holy Communion - and maintain the ancient orders of ministry - bishops, priests or presbyters, and deacons.

We are also Apostolic since we look to the writings of the apostles (the New Testament), as the definitive eyewitness accounts of Jesus Christ and (together with the Old Testament) as the final basis for our beliefs and practices.

Furthermore, the Preamble and Declaration states, "The Church of Ireland, as a reformed and Protestant Church, doth hereby reaffirm its constant witness against all those innovations in doctrine and worship, whereby the Primitive Faith hath been from time to time defaced or overlaid, and which at the Reformation this Church did disown and reject."

So we are also Protestant and Reformed. To be protestant does not mean protesting in the sense of complaining. It actually means to testify in favour of something - pro-testing. We are 'pro' the gospel message and its place in directing all we do as a church. We rejoice in the sixteenth-century rediscovery of the gospel and its place in the life of the church, that we are saved and forgiven by God's grace alone though faith in Jesus Christ alone, apart from any good deeds or achievements on our part (see Article 11). We also affirm that our church and any church needs to be reformed and re-shaped by the Scriptures constantly. Article 6 explains that if an idea or teaching is not in the Bible and cannot be proved by the Bible, we are under no obligation to believe it as part of the Christian faith, no matter how high-ranking or well-regarded the person teaching it, nor how long-standing and cherished the idea. The Bible is our final court of appeal in determining what we ought to believe, and how we ought to worship and live together as a Christian church. In the sixteenth-century, ideas and practices that could not be squared with the Bible were stripped away from our services, but a great deal was retained as being in harmony with the Bible. At that time, the Church of Ireland was re-formed, not re-created from scratch.

Find out more: Related websites

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The Church of Ireland is a province of the Anglican Communion.
More details can be found on the Church of Ireland website.

Lisbellaw with Coolbuck is a parish in the Diocese of Clogher.
You can visit the diocesan website here.

Two ways to liveTwo ways to live
The message at the heart of Christianity is really quite simple: either Jesus is your king or you're going it alone.

E100The E100 Bible Reading Challenge is about reading 100 carefully selected, essential, short Bible passages.
Find out more.
Download the reading plan here.

The Church of IrelandThe Parish of Lisbellaw with Coolbuck is part of the Church of Ireland, an Anglican church.
Find out more.

Cafe ChurchDrop in to Cafe Church, where we have a chance to chat and discuss aspects of the Christian faith together, over a cup of coffee. Every fourth Sunday evening in the Parish Centre.