ACC Compass Rose
The Anglican Communion
All the Anglican Churches in the world are self governing churches. Many of these Churches are in communion with the ArchBishop of Canterbury. These churches are members of the Anglican Communion. The ArchBishop of Canterbury is 'first among equals' as he leads the communion.
The Compass Rose
The accepted motif for the Anglican Communion is the Compass Rose.
It is intended to say a number of things about us as Anglicans and it is a shame that more Anglicans do not know a little more about it, so here goes.
It has sixteen arms pointing to all the directions of the globe, reminding us that we are a worldwide communion, and that Jesus calls us to go to all the corners of the globe with the message of salvation.
At the top is the Mitre to be clear that we are an Episcopal Church, that is we have Bishops who overseas and direct the work of the Church. The principal Church in each Diocese is the Cathedral (from the greek kathedra) meaning seat. In the Cathedral is the Bishops chair/throne/seat as the centre of the mission and work of the Church in that place, gathered around the Bishop.
The extended lapets or ribbon-like tabs tabs extending from the mitre remind us that there are two two testaments and the are a biblically based church, with a great tradition of theology and scholarship.
At the very centre of the logo is the cross of St George, reminding us of our heritage and our connection with the Ancient See of Canterbury.
Around this in Greek (the language the New Testament was written in) is the motto of the Anglican Church which is English is ‘The Truth will set you Free’
Not in Communion
There are many Churches who have the Word Anglican in their name or ethos, who are not in communion with the ArchBishop of Canterbury. Generally there are reasons of dispute that have led to the churches splitting from churches who are in the Anglican Communion.
Issues have included things like the ordination of women, the consecration of women as Bishops, the approach to the 39 articles, a feeling that scripture is not being given it's priority, a feeling that the traditions have not been given priority, and the list is indeed quite long.
This separation is a sad reality, as baptised christians with whom we share so much in terms of heritage, it is indeed a little sad that we seem not always to hear Jesus prayer for our unity.