Church / oratory connection

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The Anglican Union is an ecclesiastical sodality (a voluntary society) and not a modality (a formal ecclesiastical structure such as a denomination or jurisdictions within one, like a diocese). As such The Anglican Union is a federation of oratories (churches, parishes, and ministries), comprised of clergy and laity who freely choose to live a common rule to propagate the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our members are bound solely by the bond of charity.  
The word “oratory” derives from the Latin orare, “to pray.” Technically an oratory is a room for Christian prayer. In the 16th Century the term was the name used by a sodality of clergy and laity who lived under a Common Rule of Life. Oratorians work for the glory of God and the good of the world, free to resign their membership in the sodality without canonical impediment or ecclesiastical dispensation. While under the counsel of Godly Bishops, oratorians commit themselves to a fellowship and ministry of the sodality. Each oratory is independent and self-governing. Three historic examples of this kind of Christian community are the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri (Roman Catholic), the Oratory of the Good Shepherd (Anglican), and the Theologisk Oratorium (Lutheran).


The Western Church has had a strong Christian legacy. But today the Church finds itself in a new season that we cannot ignore. There now exists such a plurality of religions, faith perspectives, and anti-religions that the size and influence of the Christian community is quickly diminishing. The Anglican Union is an international movement which is reviving the oratory as a grassroots expression of Christian fellowship and mission, free from the inherent limitations of traditional ecclesiastical structures. Rooted in the fundamental practice of prayer, we seek to nurture and encourage the unique charisms of each oratory in order that together, we can meet the contemporary challenges that face us in order to bear faithful witness locally and globally. How? Through prayer, service, and Christian unity.

 what it means to be an ORATORY

Want to explore becoming an oratory in The Anglican Union? Here is a brief overview of information to help you decide whether to take the next step.
  • All oratories (the term used for churches and parishes) and their members participate in The Rule of Life which includes: daily prayer, discipline of the soul, mind, and heart, service through the spiritual and corporal works of mercy, evangelization, and demonstration of Christian unity.                                                                                                
  • All property in the Anglican Union shall is owned by the individual church, its board and/or parish corporation of that particular oratory. The Anglican Union will not be involved with or demand real estate from any of its oratories. Each oratory will own its own buildings, including but not limited to, churches, halls, and rectories.                                                                                                                                                                                                                
  • Local pastoral priorities - Though the pastoral priorities of each oratory should be in harmony with the pastoral priorities of the Confraternity of Oratories as a whole, each oratory will discern and develop its own pastoral priorities in the light of its own particular history, its personnel, resources, local Church realities and the possibility of a missionary response to local and global needs.                                                                                                                                                                                                     
  • Representation - Members of oratories participate in the election of representatives who serve The Anglican Union as counselors and advisors for its work and mission.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
  • Tithe - Given the Biblical principle of tithing as our standard for stewardship, all oratories and faith communities are expected to contribute 10% of their income to the Anglican Union. These resources fund the collective mission of The Anglican Union and provides guidance and support to oratories and their clergy.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
  • Faithful life - All clergy and lay oratorians are called to faithfully represent the teachings of Christ, with integrity in word and action.                                                                
  • Liturgical Rites - The liturgical rites of the Anglican Union are guided by the traditions and customary of the Anglican Communion and the canonical norms of the episcopal patrons by whom our clergy are licensed. All Books of Common Prayer utilized throughout the Confraternity of Oratories shall follow the standards of the Anglican formularies accepted by the Lambeth Quadrilateral. The liturgical norms used in each local oratory should be done so with the consultation of the Leadership of the Anglican Union.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
  • Adaptations - Changes to suit local needs may be made and the liturgical calendar adapted as may seem necessary to each regional oratory in consultation with the Office of the Prefect and the diocese or Province in which they share an Accord of Consociation.                                                                                                                                   
  • Ordering Ministry - The Anglican Union holds to the threefold order for ministry of bishop, priest, and deacon.                                                                                                    
  • Clerical placement - The placement of clergy is made through consultation with the Apostolic Prefect and the Council of Clergy along with the Vicar for Vocations. The ordination, assignment, and transfer of clergy within the Union is under the oversight and privilege of the Prefect, the Credentialing office and the sponsoring oratory leadership.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
  • Local responsibility - The ministries and institutions of each oratory shall be its respective, and sole responsibility. Such institutions shall be established and maintained in accordance with applicable civil laws, regulations, and standards where the oratory is located.


  • Faith All members of The Anglican Union shall confess One True God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – and Jesus Christ as God the Son incarnate.
  • Scripture Each oratory of The Anglican Union affirms that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments contain everything necessary for salvation.
  • Tradition and Reason The Tradition of the Church, and the gift of Human reason and experience are critical elements for understanding our faith as Anglican Christians, and assist us in understanding how revelation, law, and faith are applied in the common life.
  • The Creeds The so-called "Nicene Creed" associated with the Council of Constantinople, A.D. 381 shall be accepted as the definition of Christianity. The so-called "Apostles’ Creed" shall be accepted as a valid statement of faith, and the Quicunque Vult, or "Athanasian Creed," shall be accepted as a valid statement of Trinitarian theology and Christology.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
  • Baptism Holy Baptism is the primary sacrament, the act by which God accepts a person as His reborn child and sends to that child the Holy Spirit. As the Creed teaches, there is but one Baptism, whether of an infant or an adult, and that Baptism is entrance into the Body of Christ, the Church. Each oratory shall recognize as valid the baptism of any other Christian provided such baptism was performed with water in the Name of the Triune God. Never shall a baptized person knowingly be rebaptized, for to do so would be an act of unfaith and denial of God’s infinite Grace.
  • Eucharist The Holy Eucharist is the sacrament through which the baptized are fed with the real and substantial Body and Blood of Christ. This sacrament shall constitute the essence of the worship of this Confraternity, and all celebrations thereof shall be open to all who are baptized, confess the Creedal Faith, and believe that they are receiving the Body and Blood of Christ. Typically the age of reason is the norm for the initial reception of Holy Communion in the Anglican Union, but in accord with the fullness of the catholic faith, it may occur as part of the initiation rites depending upon the catechesis and norms of the local oratory. 


There are five sacramental rites or offices that have been received as part of the Anglican expression of the catholic faith.

  • Reconciliation Where Christians receive grace by confessing their sins and offering a sincere attempt to amend their ways.                                                                                
  • Unction/Healing of the Sick is when a Christian is anointed with oil and prayed for to receive grace as a means of comfort and assurance of God's love in times of trouble.                                                                                                                                                                                              
  • Confirmation is the formal, public confession of faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior by any person who also commits their life to Him as a member of a local Body of Christ. This can be done as part of the Rites of Christian Initiation (Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation) or as a separate liturgical rite.                                                                                                                                                                                                            
  • Holy Matrimony In marriage a man and a woman commit themselves to one another so that together they may better serve God and humanity. While the service of marriage is conducted by the clergy it is the man and woman who bestow upon one another this sacred gift.                                                                                                     
  • Holy Orders are conferred upon a Christian person who accepts the call of God, affirmed by the larger church, to serve God as a deacon, priest, or bishop for the building up of the Body of Christ. The rite is commonly called ordination.    


Ready to take the next step? Please tell us about your church, parish or oratory using the form below. All information shared with The Anglican Union is completely confidential. Once we receive your Connect Card a member of the Prefect's office will contact you to schedule a preliminary consultation.