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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:

October 2010

Archbishop's Chevening Lecture at the British Council, New Delhi
15 October 2010
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams today gave the Chevening lecture in New Delhi.

Archbishop's sermon at All Saints Cathedral, Nagpur - CNI 40th Anniversary Celebration Service
14 October 2010
In a service to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Church of North India (CNI), the Archbishop of…

Archbishop's MDG sermon at Kolkota Cathedral
10 October 2010
On the first Sunday of his visit to India, the Archbishop of Canterbury preached at a service of thanksgiving…

Archbishop's visit to India
8 October 2010
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, will embark on a 16 day visit to India from 9th to 24th…

Archbishop: Sudan more serious as days go by
7 October 2010
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams and The Archbishop of Sudan, Daniel Deng, have warned…

August 2010

The Archbishop's sermon for Opening Eucharist at the CAPA All Africa Bishops' Conference, Uganda
24 August 2010
The Archbishop delivered a sermon for Opening Eucharist at the 'Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa…

July 2010

Anglican relief, development and advocacy alliance: a step closer to becoming reality
22 July 2010
A working group from across the worldwide Anglican Communion met at Lambeth Palace between 12 and 14…

June 2010

Young Anglican leaders discuss mission with Archbishop
9 June 2010
The Archbishop of Canterbury met the Anglican Communion delegation that attended the Edinburgh 2010 World…

International Anglican Bible project aims to discover the church's role in battling climate change
4 June 2010
Members of the worldwide Anglican Communion are working together on a project to discover what the Bible…

Archbishop on The Bible in the Life of the Church Project
4 June 2010
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, is delighted to announce the Bible in the Life of the…

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