Canterbury, Archbishop of

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Canterbury, Archbishop of Primate of All England and spiritual leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The archbishopric was established in 597, when Pope Gregory I sent a mission to England to convert the Anglo-Saxons. Saint Augustine, leader of the mission, became the first Archbishop. During the Reformation, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer accepted the decision of the English Crown to end papal jurisdiction in England (1534). The Archbishop of Canterbury traditionally crowns British monarchs and officiates at other religious ceremonies of national importance. He presides over the Lambeth Conference of worldwide Anglicanism, but exercises no jurisdiction outside his own ecclesiastical province.