Primates in the Anglican Communion

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Primates in the Anglican Communion are the most senior bishop or archbishop of one of the 40 churches of the Anglican Communion.[1] The Church of England, however, has two primates, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of York.


Some of these churches 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.

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[edit]

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 Roman Catholic Archbishops of Armagh are titled "Primate of All Ireland";[4][5] while both the Anglican and Roman 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 of Ireland. The junior primates of these churches do not normally participate in the Primates' Meeting.

List of current primates[edit]

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

This is a list of the 41 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[i] Took office[ii]
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
2 Anglican Church in Japan The Primate of Japan
& Bishop of Hokkaido
Nathaniel Makoto Uematsu 1952 (age 66–67) 1997 23 May 2006
Church of Bangladesh The Moderator of the Church of Bangladesh
& Bishop in Kustia
Samuel Mankhin unknown 8 November 2009 5 December 2018
4 Anglican Church of Canada The Primate of Canada Fred Hiltz 1954 (age 64–65) 1994 25 June 2007
5 Hong Kong Anglican Church (Episcopal) The Archbishop of Hong Kong
& Bishop of Hong Kong Island
Paul Kwong 1950 (age 68–69) 25 March 2006 26 September 2007
6 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
7 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 2008
8 Church in the Province of the West Indies The Archbishop of the West Indies
& Bishop of Barbados
John Holder 1949 (age 69–70) 2000 10 December 2009
9 Church of Nigeria The Archbishop of Abuja
(Primate of All Nigeria)
Nicholas Okoh (1952-11-10) 10 November 1952 (age 66) March 2001 25 March 2010
Anglican Church in Aotearoa,
New Zealand and Polynesia
The Bishop of Polynesia
(Co-Archbishop of New Zealand)
Fereimi Cama 1955 (age 63–64) March 2019 1 August 2010
11 Church of the Province of Central Africa The Archbishop of Central Africa
& Bishop of Northern Zambia
Albert Chama unknown 2003 20 March 2011
12 Church of Ireland The Archbishop of Armagh
(Primate of All Ireland)
Richard Clarke (1949-06-25) 25 June 1949 (age 70) 14 September 1996 15 December 2012
13 Church of Uganda The Bishop of Kampala
(Archbishop of Uganda)
Stanley Ntagali (1955-03-01) 1 March 1955 (age 64) 19 December 2004 16 December 2012
Anglican Church in Aotearoa,
New Zealand and Polynesia
The Archbishop of the New Zealand Dioceses
(Co-Archbishop of New Zealand)
& Bishop of Taranaki
Philip Richardson 1958 (age 60–61) 1999 1 May 2013
15 Anglican Church of Mexico The Archbishop of Mexico
& Bishop of Northern Mexico
Francisco Moreno (1950-08-13) 13 August 1950 (age 68) 5 March 2010 16 June 2013
16 Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil The Primate of Brazil
& Bishop of the South-West
Francisco de Assis da Silva (1959-09-05) 5 September 1959 (age 59) 2010 16 November 2013
17 Anglican Church of Chile The Primate of Chile
Presiding Bishop of the Anglican Church of Chile & Bishop of Santiago
Tito Zavala (1954-10-16) 16 October 1954 (age 64) 1998 4 November 2019
18 Church of the Province of West Africa The Primate of West Africa
Metropolitan Archbishop of West Africa & Bishop of Liberia
Jonathan Hart (1953-01-09) 9 January 1953 (age 66) 2 March 2008 3 March 2019
19 Anglican Church of Australia The Primate of Australia
& Archbishop of Melbourne
Philip Freier (1954-02-09) 9 February 1954 (age 65) 1999 13 August 2014
20 The Episcopal Church in the USA The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church Michael Curry (1953-03-13) 13 March 1953 (age 66) 17 June 2000 1 November 2015
21 Church of the Province of South East Asia The Archbishop of South East Asia
& Bishop of West Malaysia
Ng Moon Hing (1955-11-12) 12 November 1955 (age 63) 5 May 2007 22 February 2016
22 Church of the Province of Melanesia The Bishop of Central Melanesia
(Archbishop of Melanesia)
George Takeli 1959 (age 59–60) August 2009 17 April 2016
23 Anglican Church of Kenya The Primate and Archbishop of All Kenya
(Bishop of All Saints' Cathedral)
Jackson Ole Sapit (1964-06-12) 12 June 1964 (age 55) 2005 3 July 2016
24 Province of the Anglican Church of Burundi The Archbishop of Burundi
& Bishop of Makamba
Martin Nyaboho 1955 (age 63–64) 1997 21 August 2016
25 Province of the Anglican Church of the Congo The Archbishop of the Congo
& Bishop of Kindu
Masimango Katanda unknown 1996 11 September 2016
26 Anglican Church of South America The Presiding Bishop of South America
& Bishop of Argentina
Gregory Venables (1949-12-06) 6 December 1949 (age 69) November 1993 10 November 2016
Church of South India The Moderator of the Church of South India
& Bishop of Madhya Kerala
Thomas K Oommen (1953-11-29) 29 November 1953 (age 65) 5 March 2011 15 January 2017
28 Anglican Church of Korea The Presiding Bishop of the Anglican Church of Korea
& Bishop of Busan
Onesimus Park 1963 (age 55–56) unknown 24 April 2017
29 Episcopal Church in the Philippines The Prime Bishop of the Philippines Joel Pachao (1956-07-29) 29 July 1956 (age 62) 25 May 1992 16 May 2017
30 Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East The President Bishop of the Church in Jerusalem
& Bishop of Jerusalem
Suheil Dawani 1949 (age 69–70) 15 April 2007 17 May 2017
Church of Pakistan The Moderator of the Church of Pakistan
& Bishop of Peshawar
Humphrey Peters unknown 2011 20 May 2017
32 Scottish Episcopal Church The Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church
& Bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness
Mark Strange (1961-11-02) 2 November 1961 (age 57) 23 October 2007 27 June 2017
33 Province of the Episcopal Church of Sudan The Archbishop of Khartoum
(Primate of Sudan)
Ezekiel Kondo 1957 (age 61–62) 2003 30 July 2017
34 Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean The Archbishop of the Indian Ocean
& Bishop of Seychelles
James Wong 1960 (age 58–59) April 2009 27 August 2017
35 Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea The Archbishop of Papua New Guinea Allan Migi 1960 (age 58–59) 2000 3 September 2017
Church of North India The Moderator of the Church of North India
& Bishop of Jabalpur
Prem Chand Singh (1962-12-12) 12 December 1962 (age 56) 2004 October 2017
37 Church in Wales The Archbishop of Wales
& Bishop of Swansea and Brecon
John Davies (1953-02-06) 6 February 1953 (age 66) 2 May 2008 2 December 2017
Anglican Church in Aotearoa,
New Zealand and Polynesia
The Bishop of Aotearoa
(Co-Archbishop of New Zealand)
& Bishop of Tairāwhiti)
Donald Tamihere 1972 (age 46–47) 11 March 2017 8 April 2018
39 Province of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan The Archbishop of Juba
(Primate of South Sudan)
Justin Badi Arama 1964 (age 54–55) 2001 22 April 2018
40 Anglican Church of Tanzania The Archbishop of Tanzania
& Bishop of Tanga
Maimbo Mndolwa 1968 (age 50–51) 4 September 2012 20 May 2018
41 Church of the Province of Rwanda The Archbishop of Rwanda
& Bishop of Shyira
Laurent Mbanda 1954 (age 64–65) May 2010 10 June 2018
42 Anglican Church in Central America The Primate of Central America
& Bishop of Panama
Julio Murray 1958 (age 60–61) 19 August 2000[6] August 2018[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The date the person was consecrated as an Anglican (or United Church) bishop.
  2. ^ The date the person became primate (usually by the confirmation of their election or by their installation, enthronement or investiture in office).
  3. ^ a b c d 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. ^ a b c Three bishops representing each of the three tikanga share the Primacy and the style of "Archbishop of New Zealand".


  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.
  3. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Ancient See of York" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  4. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Armagh" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  5. ^ a b 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. ^ [1] (Accessed 24 April 2018)
  7. ^ [2] (Accessed 24 April 2018)

External links[edit]