Glossary

This guide was last updated in 2009

Tracing your religious ancestry can often involve making sense of ecclesiastical terminology. Some of the more common words and phrases are explained below...

Advowson: The right to select a clergyman to serve in a parish

Curate: An ordained clergyman assisting an incumbent

Deacon: The first stage of ordination before proceeding to be ordained as a priest

Glebe terrier: An inventory of the land and property connected to a parish to support the vicar

Incumbent: The clergyman appointed to a parish

Patron: The person or organisation with the right to appoint a clergyman to a living

Rector, vicar or perpetual curate: Different titles for clergymen appointed to a parish, depending on the terms of the appointment

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