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Glossary of terms

This section lists some common words and terms used in the Church of England. Cclick on the first letter of the word and a list of words beginning with that letter will appear. Click on more.. for that word for an explanation.  This will open a separate window with the description and, in some cases, an image.


Parson

Parson now means any member of the clergy (see Clerk, Reverend, Father, Vicar) In a Team Ministry the most senior priest is known as the Team Rector. Our Vicar, alias Father David, answers to all these titles: Clerk, Parson, Reverend, Father, Vicar

Paten

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A dish on which the wafers are placed at the Eucharist - can be used alongside or instead of the ciborium.

Pentateuch

A reference to the first five books of the Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, & Deuteronomy.

Pews

The traditional bench-long seats in churches. The term originated from the French word, Puie, "a raised place,"which was used to describe the boxed, balcony seats in a theatre.

Pulpit

The word 'pulpit' comes from the Latin 'pulpitum' meaning 'platform'. From the 13th century, preaching became more frequent, due to friars arriving in parishes and needing somewhere in church from which to teach the people.Pulpits were normally placed to the north of the Chancel Arch. By the 17th and 18th centuries preaching had become so important that grander pulpits were erected in the centre of the church, sometimes in front of the sanctuary.

By the end of the 19th century more emphasis was on the Eucharist and the pulpit was diminished in importance and many reverted to their original positions. The present pulpit in St Margaret's dates back to 1958 and is in memory of the Vicar who died in that year, Revd Arthur Crookshank. It is interesting to note that the pulpits in Streat Church and at our cathedral in Chichester are both to the south side of the church.