The Scriptures and the Gospels, the Apostolic Church and the early Church Fathers, are the foundation of Anglican faith and worship in the 44 self-governing churches that make up the Anglican Communion.
The Anglican Church of Southern Africa is part of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church. It worships the one true God, who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It professes the faith that is uniquely revealed in the Bible and set forth in the catholic creeds (the statements of faith developed in the early church that are still used in the church's worship today). The church is called to proclaim that faith afresh in each generation. Led by the Holy Spirit, the church bore witness to Christian truth in historic texts that were developed in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries: the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, the Book of Common Prayer and the Ordinal (services for ordaining bishops, priests and deacons).
Richard Hooker (March 1554 – 3 November 1600) was an Anglican priest and an influential theologian. Hooker's emphases on reason, tolerance and the value of tradition came to exert a lasting influence on the development of the Anglican Church. In retrospect he has been taken (with Thomas Cranmer and Matthew Parker) as a founder of Anglicanism in its theological thought. Hooker argued for a middle way or via media between the positions in his time of the Roman Catholics and the Puritans. He further argued that reason and tradition were important when interpreting the Scriptures, and that it was important to recognise that the Bible was written in a particular historical context, in response to specific situations: "Words must be taken according to the matter whereof they are uttered".