Archbishop of Canterbury

The Archbishop of Canterbury is the Focus for Unity for the three Instruments of Communion of the Anglican Communion, and is therefore a unique focus for Anglican unity. He calls the once-a-decade Lambeth Conference, chairs the meeting of Primates, and is President of the Anglican Consultative Council.

The Roles of the Archbishop of  Canterbury

Leader of the Anglican Communion

The Anglican Communion includes all 38 provinces in communion with the See of Canterbury, a total of over 70 million members throughout the world.

Primate of All England

The Archbishop has this title in recognition of his lead ecclesiastical role in England. The Church of England has 13,000 parishes and 13,000 full-time parochial and other clergy. He is regarded as the nation's senior Christian and spiritual voice.

Metropolitan for the Southern Province of the Church of England

The Archbishop of Canterbury has what is known as metropolitical authority (that is, a supervisory authority for defined purposes) in relation to all bishops and clergy in the 30 dioceses in southern England. The Archbishop of York has the same authority in relation to the 14 dioceses in northern England.

Diocesan Bishop of Canterbury

Since 597, the Archbishop's See has been at Canterbury. The current Archbishop is the 104th. His diocese in East Kent has a population of 825,000 people and comprises 270 parishes in an area of nearly 1,000 square miles.

Ecumenical role

The Archbishop of Canterbury takes the lead in respect of Anglican relationships with other Christian churches in the United Kingdom and abroad.

Inter faith role

Similarly, the Archbishop of Canterbury leads in respect of Anglican relationships with other faiths.

 

List of Archbishops of Canterbury

  • 105th Justin Welby 2013
  • 104th Rowan Douglas Williams 2002
  • 103rd George Leonard Carey 1991
  • 102nd Robert Alexander Kennedy Runcie 1980
  • 101st Frederick Donald Coggan 1974
  • 100th Arthur Michael Ramsey 1961
  • 99th Geoffrey Francis Fisher 1945
  • 98th William Temple 1942
  • 97th Cosmo Gordon Lang 1928
  • 96th Randall Thomas Davidson 1903
  • 95th Frederick Temple 1896
  • 94th Edward White Benson 1883
  • 93rd Archibald Campbell Tait 1868
  • 92nd Charles Thomas Longley 1862
  • 91st John Bird Sumner 1848
  • 90th William Howley 1828
  • 89th Charles Manners-Sutton 1805
  • 88th John Moore 1783
  • 87th Frederick Cornwallis 1768
  • 86th Thomas Secker 1758
  • 85th Matthew Hutton 1757
  • 84th Thomas Herring 1747
  • 83rd John Potter 1737
  • 82nd William Wake 1716
  • 81st Thomas Tenison 1695
  • 80th John Tillotson 1691
  • 79th William Sancroft 1678
  • 78th Gilbert Sheldon 1663
  • 77th William Juxon 1660
  • 76th William Laud 1633
  • 75th George Abbot 1611
  • 74th Richard Bancroft 1604
  • 73rd John Whitgift 1583
  • 72nd Edmund Grindal 1576
  • 71st Matthew Parker 1559
  • 70th Reginald Pole 1556
  • 69th Thomas Cranmer 1533
  • 68th William Warham 1503
  • 67th Henry Deane 1501
  • 66th John Morton 1486
  • 65th Thomas Bourchier 1454
  • 64th John Kempe 1452
  • 63rd John Stafford 1443
  • 62nd Henry Chichele 1414
  • 60th Thomas Arundel restored 1399
  • 61st Roger Walden 1398
  • 60th Thomas Arundel 1396
  • 59th William Courtenay 1381
  • 58th Simon Sudbury 1375
  • 57th William Whittlesey 1368
  • 56th Simon Langham 1366
  • 55th Thomas Bradwardine 1349


  • 54th Simon Islip 1349
  • 53rd John de Stratford 1333
  • 52nd Simon Meopham 132851st Walter Reynolds 1313
  • 50th Robert Winchelsey 1294
  • 49th John Peckham 1279
  • 48th Robert Kilwardby 1273
  • 47th Boniface of Savoy 1245
  • 46th Edmund of Abingdon 1234
  • 45th Richard le Grant 1229
  • 44th Stephen Langton 1207
  • 43rd Hubert Walter 1193
  • 42nd Baldwin 1184
  • 41st Richard (of Dover) 1174
  • 40th Thomas a Becket 1162
  • 39th Theobald 1139
  • 38th William de Corbeil 1123
  • 37th Ralph d'Escures 1114
  • 36th Anselm 1093
  • 35th Lanfranc 1070
  • 34th Stigand 1052
  • 33rd Robert of Jumieges 1051
  • 32nd Eadsige 1038
  • 31st Ethelnoth 1020
  • 30th Lyfing 1013
  • 29th Alphege 1005
  • 28th Aelfric 995
  • 27th Sigeric 990
  • 26th Ethelgar c988
  • 25th Dunstan 960
  • 24th Aelfsige 959
  • 23rd Brithelm 959
  • 22nd Oda 942
  • 21st Wulfhelm 923
  • 20th Athelm 914
  • 19th Plegmund 890
  • 18th Ethelred 870
  • 17th Ceolnoth 833
  • 16th Feologeld 832
  • 15th Wulfred 805
  • 14th Ethelhard 793
  • 13th Jaenbert 765
  • 12th Bregowine 761
  • 11th Cuthbert 740
  • 10th Nothelm 735
  • 9th Tatwine 731
  • 8th Berhtwald 693
  • 7th Theodore 668
  • 6th Deusdedit 655
  • 5th Honorius 627
  • 4th Justus 624
  • 3rd Mellitus 619
  • 2nd Laurentius 604
  • 1st Augustine 597