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  • Gerald Bray


A definition.

There are four Instruments of Communion that are intended to bind the Anglican world together. They are:

1. The Archbishop of Canterbury. His office foes back to AD 597, when the Church of England was founded. He acts as a co-ordinator for the other Instruments, but has no authority over them.

2. The Lambeth Conference. This is a gathering of Anglican bishops from all over the world, that meets about every ten years. It is named after Lambeth Palace, the London residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The first Lambeth Conference was held in 1867 and the most recent one was in 2022.

3. The Anglican Consultative Council. This is a body that was created in 1971 that meets periodically. All 42 of the recognised provinces of the Anglican Communion are entitled to send two or three representatives to it. They do not have to be bishops or ordained clergy, and several provinces send lay delegates. The Archbishop of Canterbury is its chairman.

4. The Primates’ Meeting. This is a gathering of the 42 primates of the Anglican Communion. It was created in 1991 and meets about once in every three years. The Archbishop of Canterbury is its chairman. There is a standing committee of five members, which is determined geographically (Europe, the Americas, Oceania, Africa and Asia).


Gerald Bray is the Director of research for the Latimer Trust and the author of various books and articles some of them can be found here.



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