Anglican Communion

international association of churches

The Anglican Communion is an association of all Anglican churches in full communion with the Church of England. There is no single "Anglican Church" with universal authority, because each national or regional church has full autonomy. With over one hundred and ten million members, the Anglican Communion is the third largest communion in the world, after the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Churches.

The status of full communion means that all rites conducted in one church are recognised by the other. Some of these churches are known as Anglican, explicitly recognising the link to England (Ecclesia Anglicana means "Church of England").

The Archbishop of Canterbury, religious head of the Church of England, has no formal authority outside that jurisdiction, but is recognised as symbolic head of the worldwide communion.

Provinces of the Anglican Communion


All thirty-eight provinces of the Anglican Communion are independent, each with its own primate and governing structure. These provinces may take the form of national churches (such as in Canada, Uganda, or Japan) or a collection of nations (such as the West Indies, Central Africa, or Southeast Asia). They are, in alphabetical order:

In addition, there are six extraprovincial churches, five of which are under the metropolitical authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury:


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