King Alfred


In defence of Holy England










Anglo Saxon Anglicans affirms the orthodox Christian faith as understood by traditional Anglicanism. It is Trinitarian and affirms the first seven ecumenical Councils and the three major creeds. Additionally, it is informed by the 37 Articles of Faith as set out in the Book of Common Prayer.  This said, Anglicanism, as it has developed, is less doctrinaire than most other denominations and allows a certain degree of flexibility for individual interpretation and practice. 



Anglicanism seeks a balance of authority between Scripture, Church Tradition and, perhaps uniquely, reason. It also recognizes the mystical traditions within Christianity that emphasise experience and the presence of the divine all around and within us.      





The Trinity is a difficult doctrine to articulate. One particularly good way of looking at it, though, was developed by a Greek monk called Gregory Palamas who lived between 1296 and 1359. Gregory made a distinction between the essence and energies of God, sometimes framed in the formula of ‘eternal essence and uncreated energies’. This formula, which is known as ‘Palamism’ now forms the bedrock of Eastern Orthodox theology and is beginning to gain some ground in the west. Palamism teaches that God’s eternal essence transcends the created cosmos and exists outside of time and space as we know it. It is conscious, indivisible, omnipresent and the source of all consciousness. It is infinite; without beginning or end, the source of all reality, truth, life and goodness; the ultimate origin of all things. Yet, it is in itself indescribable and unknowable and does not manifest itself directly to us.


We know God through his energies and it is in his energies that he has been revealed to us. Gregory never formally identified these energies, but they certainly include the three ‘persons’ or personas of the Holy Trinity. These persons or personas are distinct from each other in their energies and yet share the same essence.


The first person of the Trinity is the Father, the creator of heaven and earth and a Father figure not just to the Son, but to humanity as a whole. He is equated by orthodox Christians with Yahweh, the God of Israel, and often depicted in Christian imagery as a kindly old man living in the sky.


The second person of the Trinity is the Son, also known as the Christ or Logos. Logos is a Greek term that has been used by different philosophers over the centuries to express somewhat different ideas. The Sophists used it to mean discourse and Aristotle developed this to refer to ‘reasoned discourse’ or an argument as part of rhetoric which is a discipline designed to persuade the listener to a particular point of view. The emphasis here is on communicating thoughts and rational argument. Earlier philosophers, such as Heraclitus and the Stoics, also identified Logos with the divine law, or rational principle, that permeates the cosmos. It is this rational principle or divine law that Logos as reasoned argument is seeking to communicate.


It is in the opening sentence of the Gospel of St John that we read the best known Christian use of the term ‘Logos’, although badly translated simply as ‘Word’. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The Logos is the ‘light that shone in the darkness’, the inner voice that whispered to our ancestors, the seers and prophets, and who continues to speak to us today. The Church Father Tertullian explained the Logos as follows:


“Observe, then, that when you are silently conversing with yourself, this very process is carried on within you by your reason, which meets you with a word at every movement of your thought … Whatever you think, there is a word … You must speak it in your mind …


Thus, in a certain sense, the word is a second person within you, through which in thinking you utter speech … The word is itself a different thing from yourself. Now how much more fully is all this transacted in God, whose image and likeness you are.”


What is particularly interesting about the above quote is that it makes a comparison between our human bodies and suggests that our thoughts are to some degree different and separate to our body. This is a much better explanation of the meaning of ‘person’ than the mind-boggling idea of three different ‘people’ all existing within the same entity!


The Logos was born into our world as Jesus of Nazareth, the expected Messiah of Israel and both fully God and fully human. He is the Christ, the anointed one, who takes on the sins of humanity. He died for us, rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. He taught us how to live in accordance with the laws of God and it is through his divine grace that we may all be reconciled to God.


The third person is the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, the Paraclete or Comforter, sometimes referred to as the ‘Holy Breath’ and the Spirit of Wisdom (Sophia in Greek). The ancient religion of Israel, at least initially, saw the divine presence that resided in the Temple as feminine; Ashera, the female consort of the male god El. When Ashera worship was banned, her presence evolved and she came to be known as the ‘presence of God’, or Shekinah, which literally means ‘God who dwells within’. Hebrew tradition holds that when the Israelites went into their various exiles, the Shekinah went with them as a comforter, something which has direct parallels with the Christian notion of the Spirit as Paraclete, or Comforter. It is this feminine nature of the Spirit that has led some esoteric Christians to consider the Holy Spirit as feminine even though the formal Church uses masculine terminology.


The Hebrews also called the Spirit of God ‘Ruach’ or ‘Ruwach’, meaning wind, breath or inspiration. This word is also grammatically feminine, although the Greek word ‘Pneuma’ used to translate it is grammatically neutral. Whilst the Greeks used the word ‘Sophia’, meaning wisdom and clearly feminine, the word they used for ‘Comforter’ was Paraclete which is grammatically masculine. So, we see here a gradual change in the way the formal Church has portrayed the Spirit from being seen as feminine to being seen as masculine, although the feminine association has never gone away and explain why some continue to see the Spirit as feminine.


ASA recognizes the worth and dignity of all God’s people, but places particular emphasis on traditional Christian family and community-based values. It promotes living in harmony with the laws of God, personal honour, self-reliance, industriousness, loyalty to kith and kin, compassionate strength and acting out of love not hate. It encourages traditional forms of worship, especially using the King James Bible, the 1662 Book of Common Prayer and traditional hymns, psalms and introits. It does not aim to appeal to everyone, but rather to people looking for a traditional English form of service and religious ethos. God’s house is a mansion of many rooms and we do not seek to live in all of them, but we do aim to be good neighbours to all.   






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