What Is the Hierarchy of the Anglican Church?

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The Anglican Church, or Church of England, is governed by the Queen of England who oversees two archbishops, who in turn oversee the 108 bishops and their various dioceses around the world. These dioceses are subdivided into parishes, which are led by priests.

The two archbishops of the Church of England are the archbishop of Canterbury and the archbishop of York. These two priests, along with 24 other high-ranking bishops, also have an important role in the English government through their involvement with Parliament. Each diocese also has an archdeacon, who is actually a priest placed in charge of the more social matters of the diocese.

Parishes are led by vicars or rectors, who are high-ranking priests within the religion. Those individuals may also have a curate, who is someone training to become a priest. In 1999, an archbishops’ council was established to help the church govern itself. There are 19 members and seven directors of the archbishops council. There is also a general synod comprised of elected members of each diocese that meets twice each year in either London or New York. Members of the general synod are not required to be members of the clergy in order to be elected.