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Anglican Communion

The Archbishop of Canterbury is the most senior bishop of the worldwide Anglican Communion - a first among equals (“primus inter pares”) amongst fellow bishops. 

The Anglican Communion is, along with the Roman Catholic Church and Orthodox Church, one of the world’s largest global Christian denominations. It has around 85 million members, spread across 38 Provinces in more than 165 countries. Each of these Provinces is autonomous, with its own system of governance. The most senior of the bishops or archbishops in each Province are known as “Primates”.

The Anglican Communion is not held together by a formal constitution or international church law, but rather by a shared heritage, by ways of worshipping and by the relationships—the “bonds of affection”—between its members worldwide. These are strengthened when Anglicans meet, informally and at such formal gatherings as the Instruments of Communion. President of these Instruments is the Archbishop of Canterbury who acts as a unique focus of unity.

The Archbishop of Canterbury also plays a leading role in nurturing the interdependent life of the Anglican Communion by visiting Provinces, convening meetings, facilitating initiatives, and contributing to theological reflection.

In his ministry across the Anglican Communion the Archbishop is supported by a dedicated staff at Lambeth Palace as well as the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion and his staff at the Anglican Communion Office in London, England.

See also: The Archbishop in the Anglican Communion: An Historical Note


October 2016

Why all kinds of religious leaders  are essential for building peaceful societies
20 October 2016
The Archbishop's advisor for reconciliation, Dr Sarah Snyder, spoke on behalf of the Archbishop yesterday…

Common Declaration of Pope Francis and Archbishop Justin
5 October 2016
Archbishop Justin and Pope Francis issued a Common Declaration today. The Archbishop is in Rome to join…

Archbishop of Canterbury appoints Adviser for Anglican Communion Affairs
4 October 2016
The Archbishop of Canterbury has appointed Rt Revd Anthony Poggo, currently Bishop of Kajo-Keji in South…

September 2016

Archbishop commissions new members of Community of St Anselm
30 September 2016
Forty new members of Archbishop Justin Welby's monastic-inspired community for young Christians took…

Archbishop of Canterbury to visit Pope in Rome
30 September 2016
Archbishop Justin Welby and Pope Francis will be celebrating 50 years of closer ties between the Anglican…

Archbishop welcomes Emir of Kano to Lambeth Palace
27 September 2016
Archbishop Justin Welby welcomed HRH The Emir of Kano to Lambeth Palace this morning.

Archbishop preaches at Mothers' Union 140th anniversary service
26 September 2016
Read the Archbishop of Canterbury's sermon at the Mothers' Union 140th anniversary service at Winchester…

July 2016

Archbishop Justin attends enthronement of new Archbishop of Kenya
4 July 2016
Church of Kenya is 'full of the life of Christ' says Archbishop during service in Nairobi

June 2016

Archbishop preaches at Anglican Centre in Rome 50th anniversary service
15 June 2016
Archbishop Justin Welby preached this homily at Westminster Abbey last night during an evensong celebrating…

May 2016

Archbishop addresses Church of Scotland General Assembly
25 May 2016
Archbishop says it's a 'huge privilege' to speak in debate on historic ecumenical agreement

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