By “Anglican” we refer to the ancient Church of England. Legend dates the evangelization of Britain by St. Joseph of Arimathea within a few years after Jesus’ resurrection. Church Fathers mention the early arrival of Christianity in Britain (e.g. Clement, 3rd Bishop of Rome, 96 A.D.), and three Bishops from Britain attended the Council of Arles in 314 A.D. Roman Catholic historians date the English Church from the mission of St. Augustine to Kent in 597 A.D. But, when Augustine arrived, he found the Church well established throughout Britain.
More recently, “Anglican” refers to the reformed catholic Church which emerged in the English Reformation. Anglican worship is rooted in the Book of Common Prayer, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer’s reformation of the ancient and Biblical tradition of worship in the Western Church as it developed in Britain over many centuries. Different areas of the world have developed local adaptations of Cranmer’s Prayer Book. American Anglicans produced their own American Book of Common Prayer in 1789, revised in 1892 and 1928.
We use the 1928 American Book of Common Prayer for our worship. In this way, St. Athanasius Anglican Church maintains a living link with the communion of worshiping Christians in the Western Church that stretches back to the original planting of Christianity in Britain.