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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


April 2016

Archbishop arrives in Lusaka for ACC-16
7 April 2016
Archbishop Justin prays Anglican Consultative Council meeting will 'live out the unity of the Church…

March 2016

Archbishops call for prayer for Burundi
18 March 2016
Archbishop Justin Welby and Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi have call for prayer for Burundi amid its current…

Archbishop of Canterbury appoints new Chief of Staff and Strategy
9 March 2016
Canon David Porter will take up the new role at Lambeth Palace in early May.

Archbishop of Canterbury visits refugee camp in Rwanda
8 March 2016
The Archbishop of Canterbury visited a refugee camp in Rwanda on Sunday, after a three-day visit to Burundi…

Archbishop begins three-day visit to Burundi
4 March 2016
Archbishop Justin is visiting Burundi to show solidarity with Anglicans and pray for peace and reconciliation…

Archbishop recommissions President of Mothers’ Union
2 March 2016
"I praise God for you and what you do," Archbishop Justin tells Mothers' Union during service at Lambeth…

February 2016

'Martyrdom is the ultimate witness to Christ’s truth’
17 February 2016
Archbishop Justin Welby’s homily at General Synod, London, 17 February 2016

Archbishop reflects on Primates’ meeting in Synod address - video
15 February 2016
In his presidential address to the General Synod today, Archbishop Justin Welby spoke about the beauty…

January 2016

Archbishop Justin reflects on the Primates' meeting in Canterbury
21 January 2016
The Archbishop of Canterbury has written a reflection on the meeting of Anglican Primates in Canterbury…

Read the Communiqué from the Primates of the Anglican Communion
15 January 2016
Read the Anglican Primates' Communiqué after their week-long meeting in Canterbury

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