The Archbishop of Canterbury is the Focus for Unity for the three other 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 Most Revd and Rt Hon Justin Welby was enthroned on 21 March 2013. He is the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury. His predecessor was the Rt Revd Lord Williams of Oystermouth.
The Archbishops of Canterbury are seen by the Anglican Communion of churches as their spiritual leader. He is 'primus inter pares', first among equals, of the other Primates of the various provinces. The Anglican Communion includes all 39 provinces in communion with the See of Canterbury.
The Archbishop has this title in recognition of his lead ecclesiastical role in England. The Church of England has 13,000 parishes. He is regarded as the nation's senior Christian and spiritual voice.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has what is known as metropolitical authority (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. 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.