About the same time (1747) he finally left the Anglican communion for the Baptist, leaving the church literally as well as figuratively by quitting it as the clergyman began to read the Athanasian creed.
The conference of Anglican bishops from all parts of the world, instituted by Archbishop Longley in 1867, and known as the Lambeth Conferences, though even for the Anglican communion they have not the authority of an ecumenical synod, and their decisions are rather of the nature of counsels than commands, have done much to promote the harmony and co-operation of the various branches of the Church.
Though the see of Canterbury claims no primacy over the Anglican communion analogous to that exercised over the Roman Church by the popes, it is regarded with a strong affection and deference, which shows itself by frequent consultation and interchange of greetings.
As against the Church of Rome, with its system of rigid centralization, the Anglican Church represents the principle of local autonomy, which it holds to be once more primitive and more catholic. In this respect the Anglican communion has developed on the lines defined in her articles at the Reformation; but, though in principle there is no great difference between a church defined by national, and a church defined by racial boundaries, there is an immense difference in effect, especially when the race - as in the case of the English - is itself ecumenical.
Thus the constituent parts of the Anglican communion gradually acquire autonomy: missionary jurisdictions develop into organized dioceses, and dioceses are grouped into provinces with canons of their own.
Compared with the thoroughness of most other catechisms this one seems very scanty, but it has a better chance of being memorized, and its very simplicity has given it a firm hold on the inner life and conscience of devout members of the Anglican communion throughout the world.
With the others churches of the Anglican Communion the archbishop's relations were cordial in the extreme and grew closer as time went on.
So far as the organization of the Anglican Church is concerned, the most important outcome of the conference was the reconstruction of the Central Consultative Body on representative lines (54-56); this body to consist of the archbishop of Canterbury and seventeen bishops appointed by the various Churches of the Anglican Communion throughout the world.
LAMBETH CONFERENCES, the name given to the periodical assemblies of bishops of the Anglican Communion (Pan-Anglican synods), which since 1867 have met at Lambeth Palace, the London residence of the archbishop of Canterbury.