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The Anglican Communion has no official legal existence nor any governing structure which might exercise authority over the member churches.There is an Anglican Communion Office in London, under the aegis of the Archbishop of Canterbury, but it only serves in a supporting and organisational role.Its intent was to provide the basis for discussions of reunion with the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches, but it had the ancillary effect of establishing parameters of Anglican identity.It establishes four principles with these words: As mentioned above, the Anglican Communion has no international juridical organisation.Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury acts as a focus of unity, recognised as primus inter pares ("first among equals"), but does not exercise authority in the provinces outside England.The Anglican Communion was founded at the Lambeth Conference in 1867 in London, England, under the leadership of Charles Longley, Archbishop of Canterbury.Early in its development, Anglicanism developed a vernacular prayer book, called the Book of Common Prayer.Unlike other traditions, Anglicanism has never been governed by a magisterium nor by appeal to one founding theologian, nor by an extra-credal summary of doctrine (such as the Westminster Confession of the Presbyterian Church).
From the beginning, these were not intended to displace the autonomy of the emerging provinces of the Communion, but to "discuss matters of practical interest, and pronounce what we deem expedient in resolutions which may serve as safe guides to future action." One of the enduringly influential early resolutions of the conference was the so-called Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral of 1888.The Archbishop of Canterbury's role is strictly symbolic and unifying and the communion's three international bodies are consultative and collaborative, their resolutions having no legal effect on the autonomous provinces of the communion.Taken together, however, the four do function as "instruments of communion", since all churches of the communion participate in them.Starting September 18, we meet on Sundays - am in the Music/Media room in the basement of the Education Building. with traditional origins of their doctrines summarised in the Thirty-nine Articles (1571).
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Instead, Anglicans have typically appealed to the Book of Common Prayer (1662) and its offshoots as a guide to Anglican theology and practice.