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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


May 2014

Archbishop visits United Church leaders in South Asia
27 May 2014
Archbishop Justin Welby and his wife, Caroline, arrived in Pakistan yesterday for the start of a week-long…

Archbishop praises 'inspirational' Great Lakes peace initiative
19 May 2014
Archbishop Justin and Cardinal Vincent met last week with delegates from a church-led campaign striving…

Archbishop writes on Boko Haram in the Church Times
16 May 2014
The Archbishop of Canterbury describes the challenges involved in tackling Nigerian Islamist militant…

South Sudan: Church is 'leading the struggle against violence' - video
15 May 2014
The church in South Sudan is 'leading the struggle against violence' says Archbishop Justin Welby in…

Canon Dr Robert Innes to be next Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe
6 May 2014
The next Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe will be the Revd Canon Dr Robert Innes, currently Senior Chaplain…

April 2014

Archbishop Justin's speech at the Reclaiming the Gospel of Peace conference
10 April 2014
The Archbishop of Canterbury gave the following speech at Reclaiming the Gospel of Peace, a conference…

Archbishop of Canterbury visits Anglicans in Canada and the USA
8 April 2014
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and his wife, Caroline, landed in Toronto last night for the…

March 2014

Caroline Welby writes about inspirational Anglican women
4 March 2014
The Anglican Alliance is marking International Women’s Day by telling the stories of Anglican women…

February 2014

Archbishop congratulates Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori on honorary Oxford degree
7 February 2014
Archbishop Justin has welcomed news that the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Bishop Katharine…

Archbishop Justin visits project combating sexual violence in Goma
5 February 2014
Archbishop Justin hails 'wonderful example' of Anglican initiative which provides holistic care for victims…

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