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The Archbishop as Patron

An important part of the Archbishop's public engagement is his patronage or presidency of organisations pursuing many different good causes.

Along with national charities and institutions, he supports diverse interests and causes within the Church of England, the worldwide Anglican Communion, and secular and civic life.

This allows the Archbishop to support public and voluntary service, and affirm the work and achievements of these organisations.

The Archbishop's office and his patronage organisations maintain an active link with each other. During a year, the Archbishop will undertake a number of engagements directly related to this area of his work. This is likely to include extending hospitality at Lambeth Palace, so that he has an opportunity to meet the people directly involved. 

The Armed Forces

The Archbishop of Canterbury has a special link with the Armed Forces of the Crown, thanks to his role as Ordinary to the Anglican Chaplains serving in the Army, the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force.

"Ordinary" is an ecclesiastical term entitling the holder to exercise jurisdiction in his own right, but the Archbishop's role is much wider. He has overall responsibility for the pastoral and spiritual welfare of the chaplains, and can grant licences to officiate within the three services.

Day-to-day responsibility for this role is carried out by the Bishop to the Forces (currently the Rt Revd Nigel Stock). Regular contact is maintained between the Archbishop's office and the Archdeacons of the Royal Navy, the Army and the Royal Air Force.

The Archbishop tries to undertake at least two engagements a year connected with Her Majesty's Forces and military chaplains. He is particularly keen to meet service personnel who have returned from active duty overseas.

If you have any questions about the Archbishop of Canterbury's patronages, please write to: