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.
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,…
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…
Archbishop Justin visits Nairobi
21 October 2013
Kenyans have responded with 'faith and courage' to the Westgate mall attack last month, the Archbishop…
Archbishop Justin welcomes new Anglican Alliance directors
16 September 2013
Archbishop Justin has welcomed the appointment of a new leadership to the Anglican Alliance, the body…
Archbishop Justin calls for prayers 'throughout the church' for Archbishop Kattey
13 September 2013
Archbishop Justin has called on the church to pray for the kidnapped Nigerian archbishop Ignatius Kattey.
'Walk in the light with each other': Archbishop Justin's sermon in Mexico
15 August 2013
Archbishop Justin preached this sermon during a Holy Eucharist at Hotel Quinta Real in Monterrey, Mexico…
Archbishop Justin praises Mexican Anglicans for helping 'those most marginalised' by poverty
15 August 2013
As the first Archbishop of Canterbury to visit Mexico, he expressed 'special appreciation' for its Anglican…