The Epiphany Guild is a religious and learned society of Anglican ministers, ordained and lay, founded in New York in 1924 and incorporated in 1931 by Archbishop Arthur Wolfort Brooks (a priest of the Episcopal Church and later the founding bishop of the Apostolic Episcopal Church), and revived along its current lines (initially under the name Epiphany Fellowship) by the late Canon Dr Paul Faunch of the AEC and the Church of England. It is an institution of the Apostolic Episcopal Church with the aim of promoting and raising the standard of worship conducted in the tradition of the Book of Common Prayer.
The Prayer Book tradition is interpreted by the Guild in a broad sense, and includes all Anglican liturgies derived from the Book of Common Prayer in its rescensions from 1662 up to 1928 (preserving traditional language), along with other liturgies which, while being formed around a core of Prayer Book material, supplement this with additional material sympathetic in style. Examples of the latter include the English Missal, the American Missal, and the Scottish Liturgy.
Currently, the Guild draws its membership principally from the clergy and lay ministers of the Apostolic Episcopal Church and its associated communions, although ministers of other communions in the Anglican tradition may also be admitted by invitation.
The Objects of the Guild are as follows:
- To promote the use and study of the Book of Common Prayer, and of liturgies derived materially from it;
- To raise the standards according to which Prayer Book worship is conducted;
- To form an ecumenical fellowship of ministers, united by the use of the Prayer Book in worship.
The Guild pursues these objects through the provision of formal examinations relating to Prayer Book worship, and by serving as a fellowship of like-minded individuals able to support and encourage each other’s efforts to serve God in the classical Anglican tradition.
The Guild does not ask its members to assent to an extensive or novel statement of doctrine, but merely to confess the orthodox Christian faith as taught in the Prayer Book, and summarised by St Vincent of Lérins as “that which has been believed everywhere, always, and by all”.
As Anglicans, we accept the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, and the seven Ecumenical Councils of the united Church, and hold that the Old and New Testaments together contain all things necessary to salvation.
As an ecumenical organization, we do not believe that Anglican identity is dependent upon communion with the See of Canterbury, but is derived from faith and worship that is in conformity with historic Anglican precedent and doctrine. As such, the Guild is open to membership from a range of churchmanship within the Anglican tradition.