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This is an archived website containing material relating to Dr Rowan Williams’ time as Archbishop of Canterbury, which ended on 31st December 2012

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Anglican Communion

The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop of the worldwide Anglican Communion - a first among equals (“primus inter pares”) amongst fellow bishops. 

At the dedication of St Matthew Cathedral, Diocese of Renk, Sudan, February 2006The Anglican Communion is the third largest international denomination, after the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church. It has over 80 million members, spread across 38 Provinces in 164 countries. Each of these Provinces is autonomous, with its own system of governance and senior archbishop or bishop ("Primate"). The Communion is not held together by a formal constitution or international church law, but rather by a shared heritage and what are termed "bonds of affection", by formal "Instruments of Communion" and through the Archbishop of Canterbury acting as a unique focus of unity. This sense of common identity has been nourished over many years by direct encounter and companion relationships at many levels. The Archbishop of Canterbury plays a leading role in nurturing the interdependent life of the Communion by visiting Provinces, convening meetings, facilitating initiatives, contributing to theological reflection and exercising a pivotal role within the Instruments of Communion.

See also: The Archbishop in the Anglican Communion: An Historical Note

Recent items relating to Anglican Communion are shown below:

July 2009

Archbishop to visit Japan
15 July 2009
As part the150th anniversary celebrations of the Anglican Church in Japan, the Archbishop of Canterbury…

Sermon preached during a Eucharist at the General Convention
9 July 2009
The Archbishop of Canterbury preached during a service at the General Convention of The Episcopal Church,…

May 2009

Archbishop at the Press Briefing at the ACC Meeting
12 May 2009
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, shares his thoughts on the ACC meeting and answers questions…

Archbishop's Presidential Address to the 14th Meeting of the ACC
11 May 2009
The Archbishop of Canterbury reflects on the achievements of the ACC meeting.

Sermon of Dedication of the New Church of St John
10 May 2009
The Archbishoph preached at a service held at the Church of St John, Vere, Clarendon, Jamaica.

Photos from the Archbishop's Courtesy Call to the Jamaican Prime Minister, The Honourable Orette Bruce Golding, MP
8 May 2009
Some photos from the Archbishop's Courtesy Call to the Jamaican Prime Minister, The Honourable Orette…

Sermon on the Occasion of the Meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council
3 May 2009
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, preached at the service held at the National Arena,…

March 2009

Pastoral Visitors Briefing Seminar
2 March 2009
Following the Report of the Windsor Continuation Group to the Archbishop of Canterbury (which was published…

February 2009

Mugabe has ruined Africa's beacon of hope
25 February 2009
Churches in Zimbabwe are working to feed and heal a nation abandoned by its leaders. A joint article…

Archbishop's new Secretary for Anglican Communion Affairs
17 February 2009
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, is pleased to appoint the Revd Canon Joanna Udal to…

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