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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


June 2014

We must pray for Nigeria, says Archbishop
6 June 2014
Prayer must come first, but we must also support the Nigerian government and keep up visibility of the…

Archbishop prays with Nigerian president
4 June 2014
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby made a last minute visit to Nigeria today to offer his heartfelt…

Archbishop urges United Church leaders in India: ‘Be ambassadors of reconciliation’
3 June 2014
Reconciliation is "the only way" to tackle social issues, says Archbishop during visit to United Church…

May 2014

Archbishop joins calls for protection of Pakistan’s Christians
29 May 2014
"Freedom of worship is a universal human right," says Archbishop during visit to church leaders in Pakistan…

Archbishop receives warm welcome in Pakistan
28 May 2014
Archbishop Justin was warmly welcomed by United Church leaders in Pakistan yesterday on day one of his…

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…

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