About the Anglican Communion
The Anglican Communion – a term first used in 1885 – is a family of almost 80 million people in 36 self-governing churches or provinces in 164 countries of the world. The member churches of this Anglican Communion represent the world in miniature, made up of a wide variety of races, languages, cultures and political conditions. We are, nevertheless, one worldwide family, held together by affection for one another, loyalty to common traditions and the continuing practice of consultation and mutual support.
The Anglican Communion has never had a central executive authority or a legislative body able to make decisions for the Communion as a whole. We are aptly named a Communion, since it comes alive in worship and mutual intercession, in shared experience of community in the Body of Christ, in the bonds of affection developed between the Anglican leaders at the Lambeth Conferences and other meetings, and in consultation and encouragement that results from working together in inter-Anglican partnership.
All Anglican churches trace their origin to the form and expression of the Christian Faith, which developed in the Church of England and a missionary expansion that followed the Reformation. It has been said that the Anglican Communion has rapidly outgrown its 'Englishness' as the expression of the Gospel message and worship is shaped within local contexts. The global Communion continues, in a natural progression, toward establishing its own identity as a multiracial, multilingual, multicultural family.