Rectory

Rectory

[rek-tuh-ree]
Depending on denomination, local custom, and the status of the minister, the building inhabited (or formerly inhabited) by the leader of a local Christian church can be referred to by one of several names. In Roman Catholic churches it is often called a rectory, sometimes a presbytery. Traditionally, Catholic rectories housed several priests from a parish, as opposed to other denominations where the church leader is often married and raising children.

In churches that are members of the Anglican Communion, the building will most commonly be called a rectory or vicarage, depending on the status of the incumbent. Methodists might refer to it as a manse or parsonage, while the latter is quite frequently used in English-speaking Lutheran churches. Manse is the usual name for the house of a Church of Scotland minister. These homes are traditionally owned and maintained by the church, as a benefit to their minister. The practice continues to this day in many denominations because of the tendency of church officials to be sent from one church to another at relatively frequent intervals. Many buildings described as "vicarage" or "rectory" that are sold by the church retain their former names, often qualified, such as "The Old Rectory", etc.

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