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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


August 2014

Archbishop welcomes Ghana’s Ashanti King to Lambeth Palace
1 August 2014
Archbishop Justin Welby welcomes the King of Ghana's Ashanti Kingdom to Lambeth Palace, hailing his visit…

July 2014

Archbishop writes to new Archbishop of the Internal Province of Sudan
21 July 2014
“I hope and pray the Church in Sudan will prosper,” Archbishop Justin writes.

Follow Jesus in prayer, Archbishop tells Anglicans in Mauritius
7 July 2014
Archbishop urges focus on prayer, reconciliation and evangelism as he concludes visit to Anglican primates…

'No renewal of the Church without renewal of prayer' - Archbishop in South Africa
4 July 2014
In an address to the Anglicans Ablaze conference in Brynston yesterday, Archbishop Justin spoke of the…

PHOTOS: Archbishop washes young people's feet in Johannesburg
3 July 2014
In an impromptu gesture, the Archbishop of Canterbury washed the feet of 12 young people at an Anglican…

South Africa welcomes Archbishop Justin
3 July 2014
Archbishop Justin Welby arrives in South Africa for three-day visit with Anglican leaders and communities…

June 2014

Archbishop begins visit to Anglican primates in central and southern Africa
30 June 2014
The Archbishop of Canterbury arrives in Zambia for week of visits to Anglican primates in central and…

'Thanksgiving and repentance' - Archbishop on the first black Anglican bishop
29 June 2014
Archbishop's sermon at Canterbury Cathedral service today marking the 150th anniversary of the first…

Archbishop addresses National Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast
17 June 2014
Speaking in Westminster today the Archbishop said the global 21st century church must - as Pope Francis…

Great Lakes Archbishops welcomed to Lambeth Palace
13 June 2014
Archbishops pray for progress in Great Lakes peace initiative

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