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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:

May 2010

Archbishop of Canterbury's Pentecost letter to the Anglican Communion
28 May 2010
In his Pentecost letter to the Anglican Communion, the Archbishop of Canterbury encourages Anglicans…

Archbishop welcomes bishops' statement on Malawi sentencing
27 May 2010
The Archbishop of Canterbury welcomes the statement made by the Anglican Bishops in Southern Africa regarding…

Melanesian Archbishop joins Ascension service
13 May 2010
The Archbishop and Primate of Melanesia, the Most Revd David Vunagi, concelebrated and preached at an…

April 2010

Archbishop's message to the 4th Global South to South Encounter
20 April 2010
Archbishop tells the Global South gathering: "There are no quick solutions for the wounds of the body…

Archbishop: "There are no quick solutions for the wounds of the body of Christ."
20 April 2010
The Archbishop of Canterbury's video address to the Fourth Global South to South Encounter meeting in…

February 2010

Archbishop in West Bank and Gaza
24 February 2010
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, accompanied by the Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem Dr Suheil…

Archbishop in Jerusalem
23 February 2010
On 22 February, the third day of his visit to the Holy Land, the Archbishop of Canterbury was received…

Archbishop in Jordan
22 February 2010
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, and the Bishop in Jerusalem, the Rt Reverend Suheil…

Archbishop's visit to the Holy Land
19 February 2010
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, will embark on a four day visit to Jordan, Israel and…

Confidence in the Bible - General Synod debate, February 2010
12 February 2010
General Synod, London. In his contribution to this debate, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams,…

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