Our Anglican Identity
Throughout the centuries, Anglicans have articulated their faith in reference to classic sources of doctrine and worship. These include:
The Bible – All true doctrine, Anglicans believe, is derived from the Bible. St. Paul instructs the Church, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). Further, Article 6 of the Articles of Religion states: “whatever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man that it should be believed as an article of the Faith.”
The Early Church – Anglicans have always held in high regard “such teachings of the ancient Fathers and Councils of the Church as are agreeable to the Scriptures,” and which are summarized in the Apostles’ Creed, Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, and Athanasian Creed.
The Articles of Religion (1563) – The Articles, also known as the “Thirty-Nine Articles,” summarize the biblical faith recovered at the Reformation and have become the doctrinal norm for Anglicans around the world.
The King James Bible (1611) – The translation of the Bible into English, begun in the 16th century by William Tyndale, achieved its classic form in the 1611 translation and remains the basis for many modern versions, such as the Revised Standard Version and the English Standard Version. In keeping with the principles of the English Reformation that promote speaking in language that the people understand (Articles of Religion, 24), the Bible has been translated into many languages. Anglican Christianity has now spread to encompass people of many races and languages all over the world.
The Book of Common Prayer (1549-1662) – The Anglican Prayer Book is known worldwide as one of the finest expressions of Christian prayer and worship. The 1662 Prayer Book is predominantly comprised of scriptures formulated into prayer. It has been the standard for Anglican doctrine, discipline and worship, and for subsequent revisions in many languages.
Music and Hymnody – Hymns, from writers like Isaac Watts, Charles Wesley, John Mason Neale and Graham Kendrick, have formed the spirituality of English speaking Anglicans around the world. Today, composers in many languages continue in this powerful tradition of catechesis through music.
The Lambeth Quadrilateral – Resolution 11 of the Lambeth Conference (1888) affirmed four marks of Church identity required for genuine unity and fellowship. These are: the Holy Scriptures containing “all things necessary for salvation,” the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds as “the sufficient statement of the Christian faith,” two sacraments ordained by Christ – Baptism and the Eucharist – and “the historic Episcopate, locally adapted.” These serve as a basis of Anglican identity as well as instruments for ecumenical dialogue with other church traditions.
The Jerusalem Declaration (2008) – This statement from the Global Anglican Future Conference in 2008 has become the theological basis for the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, of which the Anglican Church in North America is a part.
1932 Church built for use by Pope & Talbot Lumber Mill families in Port Gamble, Kitsap County, Washington, became St. Paul’s Episcopal Mission, supported by occasional visiting clergy from Bainbridge Island.
1955 Episcopal Diocese of Olympia survey determined Poulsbo to be an area of growth and began support for full-time vicar (priest).
1963 St. Charles Episcopal Church, Poulsbo, was established as outreach from St. Paul’s Episcopal Mission, Port Gamble. Services were held at Stone Mortuary Chapel.
1965 Herrold family donated land at Highway 305 and Little Valley Road in Poulsbo. The Vicar of the North Kitsap Episcopal Mission conducted Sunday services (8:00 and 9:00) at St. Charles, Poulsbo, then drove to Port Gamble for Sunday service at St. Paul’s (11:00).
1980 North Kitsap Episcopal Mission became a parish in the Diocese of Olympia.
2003 The clergy and members of St. Charles choose to affiliate with the emerging Anglican province in North America, after choosing to walk apart from the Episcopal Church.
2004 St. Charles joins the Diocese of Recife as part of the Anglican Church of Brazil, under the leadership of Bishop Robinson Cavalcanti.
2009 St. Charles Anglican Church, Poulsbo, WA, is a founding member of the Diocese of Cascadia, which is accepted into the new Anglican Church in North America.
2014 St. Charles moves to our new location on 8th Avenue in Poulsbo.
Our Namesake, St. Charles Lwanga
On a visit to the capital of Buganda (now Uganda) in 1880, Charles Lwanga became interested in the teachings of the missionaries and began to attend their instruction. On the accession of King Mwanga, Charles went to the court and entered royal service. His leadership qualities were such that he was in charge of the royal pages and he immediately won the confidence and affection of his charges.
King Mwanga began to insist Christian converts abandon their new faith and executed many believers between 1885 and 1887. After the first three individuals beheaded and made martyrs, Joseph Mukasa, a senior advisor to the king and a Catholic convert who had become a mentor to Charles Lwanga, condemned the king for ordering the death of the Anglican missionary, Archbishop James Hannington. The king, annoyed by the questioning of his rulings, had Mukasa beheaded in November 1885.
Immediately after the martyrdom of Mukasa, Charles and many of his companions in the court of the king sought baptism. When challenged by King Mwanga to explain their Christian belief many of the young men willingly confessed their conversion to Christianity. Charles became a leader and teacher, even baptizing some of his fellow pages himself. Several months later in May of 1886, after refusing to deny their faith in Christ, Charles and several others were sentenced to death by burning at stake.
On June 3rd, 1886, on the Feast of the Ascension, Charles Lwanga was put to death on a small pyre on a hill at Namugongo, Uganda. He was wrapped in a reed mat, with a slave yoke on his neck and to make him suffer more; a fire was lit under his feet and legs first. Taunted by his executioner, Charles replied: ‘You are burning me, but it is as if you are pouring water over my body. Please repent and become a Christian like me.” He then remained quietly praying. Just before the end, he cried out in a loud voice “Katonda!” which means “my God.”
Saint Charles Lwanga and twenty-one other Ugandan martyrs were canonized together as “The Ugandan Martyrs” by Pope Paul VI in 1964. Although the Anglicans could not be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church, for the first time, they were declared “worthy of mention for enduring death for the name of Christ.”
Rather than halting the spread of Christianity, these early believers sparked growth. Following the executions, many were seen carrying their Bibles in public. These seeds of faith became the impulse that eventually sparked the East African Revival, the growth of the Anglican Church in the global South, and Anglican revival of which St. Charles, Poulsbo is a part.