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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


October 2017

Archbishop Justin installs new director of Anglican Centre in Rome
26 October 2017
Archbishop Bernard Ntatohuri was installed as the new Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome today by…

February 2017

Archbishop visits Provinces of Burundi, Congo, Rwanda and Kenya
27 February 2017
Archbishop Justin and Caroline Welby spent a week visiting Anglican Primates and their Churches.

January 2017

Prince of Wales attends Anglican Centre in Rome anniversary at Lambeth Palace
27 January 2017
The Archbishop of Canterbury welcomed HRH The Prince of Wales to Lambeth Palace last night to celebrate…

November 2016

Archbishop Justin welcomes South Sudan Council of Churches to Lambeth Palace
25 November 2016
The Archbishop met and prayed with the ecumenical delegation of the South Sudan Council of Churches at…

Archbishop of Canterbury visits Pakistan
21 November 2016
Archbishop Justin visited Pakistan this weekend to express solidarity with church communities across…

Archbishop Justin meets with Archbishop of Kenya at Lambeth Palace
16 November 2016
The Archbishops shared a time of fellowship and prayer at Lambeth Palace this morning.

October 2016

Why all kinds of religious leaders  are essential for building peaceful societies
20 October 2016
The Archbishop's advisor for reconciliation, Dr Sarah Snyder, spoke on behalf of the Archbishop yesterday…

Common Declaration of Pope Francis and Archbishop Justin
5 October 2016
Archbishop Justin and Pope Francis issued a Common Declaration today. The Archbishop is in Rome to join…

Archbishop of Canterbury appoints Adviser for Anglican Communion Affairs
4 October 2016
The Archbishop of Canterbury has appointed Rt Revd Anthony Poggo, currently Bishop of Kajo-Keji in South…

September 2016

Archbishop commissions new members of Community of St Anselm
30 September 2016
Forty new members of Archbishop Justin Welby's monastic-inspired community for young Christians took…

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