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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


January 2014

Bishop Christopher Hill receives Lambeth Degree
16 January 2014
The Archbishop of Canterbury awarded Bishop Christopher with the Lambeth Doctor of Divinity in recognition…

Archbishop appoints US priest as Canterbury preacher
16 January 2014
Archbishop Justin hopes the Revd Dr Tory Baucum's presence as one of Canterbury Cathedral's Six Preachers…

December 2013

'Making hope tangible' - a conversation about HIV/AIDS
20 December 2013
In this video the Archbishop of Canterbury speaks with the Archbishops of Southern Africa and Burundi…

November 2013

Archbishop visits Korea with message of church unity
4 November 2013
The 'living presence of Jesus' sets the direction of the church, said Archbishop Justin

Archbishop in Korea: unity is found in Christ
1 November 2013
Christians ‘belong to each other inescapably’ because they are part of the body of Christ, the Archbishop…

Watch: Archbishop addresses WCC General Assembly
1 November 2013
The Archbishop said 'we cannot be satisfied with a lack of visible unity' when he addressed the World…

Loving each other in diversity: Archbishop speaks to Vatican Radio
1 November 2013
The Archbishop spoke to Vatican Radio about his belief that, despite our increasingly diverse world,…

October 2013

Archbishop visits Anglican Church in Japan
31 October 2013
Archbishop Justin praised the 'Christ-like leadership' of the Primate of Japan during a visit to Tokyo…

Archbishop in Hong Kong: We must be a repentant church
29 October 2013
In this sermon preached at St John's Cathedral in Hong Kong, the Archbishop of Canterbury said that as…

Archbishop visits Hong Kong
28 October 2013
The Archbishop of Canterbury praised the Anglican Church in Hong Kong for its ‘impressive’ record…

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