Primates in the Anglican Communion

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The primates in the Anglican Communion are each the most senior bishop or archbishop of one of the 38 churches (also known as provinces) of the Anglican Communion.[1]


Some of these provinces are stand-alone ecclesiastical provinces (such as the Church of the Province of West Africa), while others are national churches comprising several ecclesiastical provinces (such as the Church of England). Since 1978, the Anglican primates have met annually for an Anglican Communion Primates' Meeting at the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury, who is regarded as the symbolic leader (though primus-inter-pares) of the Anglican primates. While the gathering has no legal jurisdiction, it acts as one of the informal instruments of unity among the autonomous provinces of the communion.

In stand-alone ecclesiastical provinces, the primate is the metropolitan archbishop of the province. In national churches composed of several ecclesiastical provinces, the primate will be senior to the metropolitan archbishops of the various provinces, and may also be a metropolitan archbishop. In those churches which do not have a tradition of archiepiscopacy, the primate is a bishop styled "primus" (in the case of the Scottish Episcopal Church), "presiding bishop", "president bishop", "prime bishop" or simply "primate". In the case of the Episcopal Church in the United States, which is composed of several ecclesiastical provinces, there is a presiding bishop who is its primate, but the individual provinces are not led by metropolitans.

The moderators of the United Churches of Bangladesh, of North India, of Pakistan and of South India, which are united with other originally non-Anglican churches, and which are part of the Anglican Communion, while not primates, participate in the Primates' Meetings.

Anglican primates may be attached to a fixed see (e.g., the Archbishop of Canterbury is invariably the Primate of All England), who may be chosen from among sitting metropolitans or diocesan bishops and retain the see (as with, for example, the Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia), or who may have no see (as in the Anglican Church of Canada). Primates are generally chosen by election (either by a synod consisting of laity, clergy and bishops, or by a House of Bishops). In some instances, the primacy is awarded on the basis of seniority among the episcopal college. In the Church of England, the primate, like all bishops, is appointed by the British sovereign, in the capacity of Supreme Governor of the established church, on the advice of the Crown Appointments Commission.

Dual primates

In the Church of England and the Church of Ireland, the metropolitan of the second province has since medieval times also been accorded the title of primate. In England, the Archbishop of Canterbury is known as the "Primate of All England" [2] while the Archbishop of York as "Primate of England"[3] (see also Primacy of Canterbury). In Ireland both the Anglican and Catholic Archbishops of Armagh are titled "Primate of All Ireland";[4][5] while both the Anglican and Catholic Archbishops of Dublin are titled "Primate of Ireland".[5] As both of these positions pre-date the 1921 partition, they relate to the whole island of Ireland. The junior primates of these churches do not normally participate in the Primates' Meeting.

List of current primates

Active primate Male primate
Inactive primate Female primate
Position vacant and/or acting primate

This is a list of the 38 current primates (including four moderators of united churches) in the worldwide Anglican Communion. The list is given according to the Anglican order of precedence, with the Archbishop of Canterbury as primus inter pares first and the others in order of seniority by their installation to their primacy.

# Province Primate Person Date of birth & age Consecration[lower-roman 1] Took office[lower-roman 2]
1 Church of England The Archbishop of Canterbury
(Primate of All England)
Justin Welby (1956-01-06) 6 January 1956 (age 63) 28 October 2011 4 February 2013 (confirmed)[6]
1a[lower-roman 3] Church of Pakistan The Bishop of Raiwind
(Moderator of the Church of Pakistan)
Sammy Azariah (1949-08-31) 31 August 1949 (age 69) 19 July 1987 1997–2002 &
2 Church in Wales The Archbishop of Wales
& Bishop of Llandaff
Barry Morgan (1947-01-31) 31 January 1947 (age 72) 9 January 1993 May 2003 (confirmed)[7]
3 Anglican Church of Burundi The Archbishop of Burundi
& Bishop of Matana
Bernard Ntahoturi 1948 (age 70–71)[8] 1997[8] 2005[8]
4 Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean The Archbishop of the Indian Ocean
& Bishop of Mauritius
Ian Ernest (1954-08-30) 30 August 1954 (age 64) July 2001 19 February 2006 (installed)[9]
5 Anglican Church in Aotearoa,
New Zealand and Polynesia
The Bishop of Aotearoa
(Archbishop of New Zealand and Bishop of Tairawhiti)
Brown Turei 1924 (age 94–95) 1992 11 May 2006 (installed)
6 Anglican Church in Japan The Primate of Japan
& Bishop of Hokkaido
Nathaniel Makoto Uematsu 1952 (age 66–67)[10] 1997[10] 23 May 2006 (elected)[11]
7 Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East The President Bishop of the Church in Jerusalem
& Bishop of Egypt
Mouneer Anis (1950-08-10) 10 August 1950 (age 68) 15 May 2000 18 April 2007
8 Anglican Church of Canada The Primate of Canada Fred Hiltz 1953 (age 65–66)[12] 1995[12] 25 June 2007
9 Hong Kong Anglican Church (Episcopal) The Archbishop of Hong Kong
& Bishop of Hong Kong Island
Paul Kwong 1952 (age 66–67) 25 March 2006 28 September 2007
10 Anglican Church of Southern Africa The Archbishop of Cape Town
(Primate of Southern Africa)
Thabo Makgoba (1960-12-15) 15 December 1960 (age 58) 25 May 2002 31 December 2007
11 Province of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan The Archbishop of Juba
(Primate of Sudan)
Daniel Deng Bul (1950-01-02) 2 January 1950 (age 69) 1988 20 April 2008
12 Church of the Province of Myanmar (Burma) The Archbishop of Myanmar
& Bishop of Yangon
Stephen Than Myint Oo 1958 (age 60–61) 2005 17 February 2009
13 Anglican Church of Kenya The Archbishop of Kenya
(Bishop of All Saints' Cathedral)
Eliud Wabukala 1951 (age 67–68) October 1996 24 April 2009
14 Province of the Anglican Church of the Congo The Archbishop of the Congo
& Bishop of Kinshasa
Henri Isingoma (1958-11-24) 24 November 1958 (age 60) 1997 August 2009
15 Scottish Episcopal Church The Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church
Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane
David Chillingworth 1951 (age 67–68) 5 March 2005 13 June 2009
15a[lower-roman 3] Church of Bangladesh The Bishop of Kushtia
(Moderator of the Church of Bangladesh)
Paul Sarkar Unknown January 2003[13] October 2009
16 Church in the Province of the West Indies The Archbishop of the West Indies
& Bishop of Barbados
John Holder 1948 (age 70–71) 2000 10 December 2009
17 Anglican Church of Korea The Presiding Bishop of the Anglican Church of Korea
& Bishop of Seoul
Paul Kim Unknown 22 May 2008 2010
18 Church of Nigeria The Archbishop of Abuja
(Primate of All Nigeria & Bishop of Abuja)
Nicholas Okoh (1952-11-10) 10 November 1952 (age 66) March 2001 March 2010
18a[lower-roman 4] Anglican Church in Aotearoa,
New Zealand and Polynesia
The Bishop of Polynesia
(Co-Archbishop of New Zealand)
Winston Halapua 1945 (age 73–74) April 2005[14] 1 August 2010
19 Anglican Church of South America The Presiding Bishop of South America
& Bishop of Chile
Tito Zavala (1954-10-16) 16 October 1954 (age 64) 1998 5 November 2010
20 Church of the Province of Rwanda The Archbishop of Rwanda
& Bishop of Gasabo
Onesphore Rwaje (1953-06-06) 6 June 1953 (age 65) 1991 23 January 2011
21 Church of the Province of Central Africa The Archbishop of Central Africa
& Bishop of Northern Zambia
Albert Chama Unknown 2002 20 March 2011
22 Church of the Province of South East Asia The Archbishop of South East Asia
& Bishop of Kuching
Datuk Bolly anak Lapok (1952-10-08) 8 October 1952 (age 66) 14 May 2007 12 February 2012[15]
23 Church of Ireland The Archbishop of Armagh
(Primate of All Ireland)
Richard Clarke (1949-06-25) 25 June 1949 (age 69) 14 September 1996[16] 15 December 2012
24 Church of Uganda The Archbishop of Uganda
& Bishop of Kampala
Stanley Ntagali 1955 (age 63–64) 19 November 2004 16 December 2012
24a[lower-roman 4] Anglican Church in Aotearoa,
New Zealand and Polynesia
The Bishop of Taranaki
(Archbishop of the New Zealand Dioceses
& Co-Archbishop of New Zealand)
Philip Richardson 1958 (age 60–61)[17] 1999[17] 1 May 2013[17]
25 Anglican Church of Tanzania The Archbishop of Tanzania
& Bishop of Mpwapwa
Jacob Chimeledya[lower-roman 5] (1957-08-28) 28 August 1957 (age 61)[19] 2005[19] 19 May 2013[19]
26 Anglican Church of Mexico The Presiding Bishop of the Anglican Church of Mexico
& Bishop of Northern Mexico
Francisco Moreno (1950-08-13) 13 August 1950 (age 68) 5 March 2010[20] 16 June 2013[21]
27 Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea The Archbishop of Papua New Guinea Clyde Igara 1951 (age 67–68) 20 June 2010[22] 20 October 2013[23]
28 Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil The Bishop of Brasilia
(Primate of Brazil)
Francisco de Assis da Silva Unknown 2010 November 2013 (elected)
28a[lower-roman 3] Church of South India The Moderator of the Church of South India
& Bishop of Krishna-Godavari
Govada Dyvasirvadam 28 March 1951 24 November 2002 January 2014
29 Church of the Province of West Africa The Primate of West Africa
Archbishop of Ghana & Bishop of Kumasi
Daniel Sarfo Unknown 14 March 1999[24] 21 January 2014[25]
30 Anglican Church of Australia The Primate of Australia
& Archbishop of Melbourne
Philip Freier February 1955 (age 64) 1999 4 July 2014
30a[lower-roman 3] Church of North India The Bishop of Amritsar
(Moderator of the Church of North India)
Pradeep Samantaroy[26] (1951-03-01) 1 March 1951 (age 68)[26] 15 September 1996[27] 9 October 2014[26]
31 Episcopal Church in the Philippines The Prime Bishop of the Philippines Renato Abibico (1951-02-02) 2 February 1951 (age 68) 11 April 1997 20 November 2014
32 Anglican Church in Central America The Bishop of Nicaragua
& Primate of IARCA
Sturdie Downs 1947 (age 71–72) 9 February 1985[28] 21 February 2015[29]
33 The Episcopal Church in the USA The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church Michael Curry (1953-03-13) 13 March 1953 (age 66) June 17, 2000 1 November 2015 (term began)[30]
34 Church of the Province of Melanesia Senior Bishop and Acting Primate
& Bishop of Guadalcanal
Nathan Tome 24 May 2001[31] 6 September 2015 (Acting)[32]


  1. The date the person was consecrated as an Anglican (or United Church) bishop.
  2. The date the person became primate (usually the confirmation of their election or their installation, enthronement or investiture).
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 The moderators of the Churches of Bangladesh, of North India, of Pakistan and of South India are not, strictly speaking, primates, but they nonetheless rank with and participate alongside the Communion's primates.
  4. 4.0 4.1 The senior bishops of each of the three tikanga technically share the Primacy and the style of "Archbishop of New Zealand", but Turei is the de facto head of the church.
  5. The validity of Chimeledya's election (and therefore his installation) is disputed by Valentino Mokiwa, Bishop of Dar es Salaam (the previous archbishop, installed 25 May 2008.)[18]

See also


  1. Anglican Communion – Primates' Meetings (Accessed 6 July 2013)
  2. Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Canterbury". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Ancient See of York". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Armagh". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 James Murray, Enforcing the English Reformation in Ireland (Cambridge University Press 2011 ISBN 978-0-52136994-7), pp. 41-43; MacGeoghegan, James, The History of Ireland, Ancient and Modern (1844), James Duffy, Dublin, p. 337
  6. "Justin Welby becomes Archbishop of Canterbury". Retrieved 5 February 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. The Telegraph – Archbishop of Wales is inaugurated (Accessed 24 September 2014)
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Primates of the Anglican Communion – Bernard Ntahoturi (Accessed 6 July 2013)
  9. Anglican Communion News Service – Archbishop Ian Ernest Installed New Primate for the Indian Ocean (Accessed 24 September 2014)
  10. 10.0 10.1 Primates of the Anglican Communion – Nathaniel Makoto Uematsu (Accessed 6 July 2013)
  11. Anglicans Online News Centre – Archived News Headlines for Apr/May/Jun 2006 (Accessed 24 September 2014)
  12. 12.0 12.1 Primates of the Anglican Communion – Fred Hiltz (Accessed 6 July 2013)
  13. The Oxford Mission – News of our work India & Bangladesh May–October 2008 (Accessed 6 July 2013)
  14. 2008 — Halapua Appointed Chaplain
  15. Diocese of Singapore – Press Statement: Election of the Fourth Archbishop of the Province (Accessed 5 July 2013)
  16. Anglican News – Clarke Elected as Archbishop of Armagh (Accessed 6 July 2013)
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Anglican Taonga – New Archbishop 'a community visionary' (Accessed 6 July 2013)
  18. Anglican Ink – Additional Complaints Filed in Tanzania (Accessed 6 July 2013)
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Anglican Communion News Service – Tanzania bishops welcome Archbishop-elect Chimeledya (Accessed 6 July 2013)
  20. Diocese of West Texas – Journal of Proceedings of the Annual Council 2010 (Accessed 5 July 2013)
  21. Diocese of West Texas – Francisco Moreno, Presiding Bishop of Mexico (Accessed 5 July 2013)
  22. The Anuki Country Press – Dogura re-visited (Accessed 28 February 2014)
  23. Facebook – Pacific Islands Society of the UK & Ireland (Accessed 28 February 2014)
  24. GhanaWeb – Tenth anniversary of consecration of Bishop Yinkah-Sarfo celebrated (Accessed 28 February 2014)
  25. ACNS – West Africa: Metropolitan Archbishop becomes Primate (Accessed 28 February 2014)
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 Hindustan Times – Samantaroy installed 13th Moderator of CNI (Accessed 3 November 2015)
  27. Church of North India Synod – Samantaroy is CNI Deputy Moderator (Accessed 3 November 2015)
  28. The Episcopal Church — Sturdie Downs (Accessed 3 November 2015)
  29. Anglican Ink — New primate for Central America (Accessed 3 November 2015)
  31. Anglican Ink — Primates of the Anglican Communion — Archbishop of Melanesia (Accessed 31 January 2016)
  32. Anglican News — Melanesian Primate retires (Accessed 31 January 2016)

External links