St. Andrew’s is an Anglo-Catholic parish. This means that we share most fully in the Catholic heritage of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. This dates primarily from a movement in the 19th century, within the Church of England, during which scholars and theologians rediscovered the Catholic roots of the Church of England, and sought to craft the style of worship to express this completely, within the usage of the Book of Common Prayer. The movement is variously called the Oxford Movement, or the Tractarian Movement.
Our parish, which began as a German-language mission of St. Paul’s Cathedral, became an English-speaking chapel and parish under the leadership of Charles Henry Brent. He was a newly ordained priest, and a proponent of the liturgical and theological ideas of the founders of the Oxford Movement. In other words, St. Andrew’s has been an Anglo-Catholic church from the start.
Those ideas weren’t very popular in those days, the bishop at the time didn’t agree, and so Fr. Brent left Buffalo. He went on to become missionary bishop to the Philippines, and after WWI, returned to our region as Bishop of Western New York, our own diocese. He died in 1928.
Because of his work in evangelizing the Philippines, and his work in the Ecumenical Movement, Bishop Brent is honored in the Episcopal Church as a saint; his feast day is March 27.
Here at St. Andrew’s, we honor him as our founder. There is a shrine altar dedicated to his memory in our baptistery. His icon is there, and candlesticks we believe were his, and a Mass is celebrated there on his feast day.