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 Anglican Communion includes all 38 provinces in communion with the See of Canterbury, a total of over 70 million members throughout the world.
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.
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.
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.
The Archbishop of Canterbury takes the lead in respect of Anglican relationships with other Christian churches in the United Kingdom and abroad.
Similarly, the Archbishop of Canterbury leads in respect of Anglican relationships with other faiths.