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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 2016

President of Nigeria visits Lambeth Palace
13 May 2016
Archbishop Justin Welby ‘greatly honoured’ to be visited by leader of Africa’s largest country.…

April 2016

'Holding together in diversity' – Archbishop Justin on the ACC meeting in Lusaka
29 April 2016
Archbishop Justin Welby reflects on the recent Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Lusaka.

ACC commits to 'walking together' with the Primates
20 April 2016
ACC 'working in close collaboration with Primates', says Archbishop.

Archbishop reflects on ACC-16 as it draws to a close
19 April 2016
Archbishop says meeting 'looked carefully at what it means to be a disciple in a world of great difference…

Archbishop's presidential address to ACC-16
16 April 2016
Archbishop Justin Welby gave a presidential address to members of the Anglican Consultative Council yesterday…

Archbishop to chair Anglican Communion environment initiative
15 April 2016
Archbishop 'very honoured' to take on honorary role

ACC-16: Archbishop briefs members on Primates’ gathering and meeting
8 April 2016
The Archbishop this afternoon briefed members of the Anglican Consultative Council, meeting at the Cathedral…

Archbishop of Canterbury meets President of Zambia
8 April 2016
Archbishop Justin Welby praises Zambia's peaceful development during meeting with President Edgar Lungu.…

ACC-16: Archbishop talks environment and discipleship with young Anglicans - video
8 April 2016
Archbishop speaks at conference with young Anglicans from southern Africa.

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…

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