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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:

December 2012

Archbishop's Advent letter to Anglican Primates
2 December 2012
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has sent the following Advent letter to the Primates…

November 2012

Travels with my Archbishop
8 November 2012
The Bishop of Lynn Jonathan Meyrick reflects on his recent visit to Papua New Guinea with the Archbishop…

Archbishop: "Beware the danger of becoming less than we aspire to be as a Communion"
4 November 2012
In his final Presidential address to the Anglican Consultative Council, the Archbishop this evening told…

The Archbishop's sermon in Christchurch, New Zealand: 'Go to where it hurts the most'
4 November 2012
The Archbishop gave this sermon during his visit to Christchurch, New Zealand, on 3 and 4 November 2012…

October 2012

Archbishop's sermon at ACC-15 on 'the reckless love of God'
28 October 2012
Archbishop Rowan Williams gave the sermon at the opening Eucharist for the Anglican Consultative Council…

Launch of 'Life-Widening Mission: Global Anglican Perspectives'
28 October 2012
The Archbishop of Canterbury launched the book "Life-Widening Mission: Global Anglican Perspectives"…

Archbishop attends Anglican Consultative Council in New Zealand
27 October 2012
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, is attending the 15th meeting of the Anglican Consultative…

Archbishop: Serving Jesus means "breaking down walls"
23 October 2012
In a sermon preached in Dogura, Papua New Guinea, Archbishop Rowan Williams said that when we serve one…

Archbishop urges help for Sudanese caught up in conflict
9 October 2012
The Archbishop of Canterbury has expressed his fear for the situation of more than 850,000 people displaced…

September 2012

Archbishop delivers inaugural CUAC Lecture
28 September 2012
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, delivered the inaugural address of the Annual CUAC (Colleges…

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