AskDefine | Define parsonage

Dictionary Definition

parsonage n : an official residence provided by a church for its parson or vicar or rector [syn: vicarage, rectory]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A house provided by the church for a parson, vicar or rector.

Extensive Definition

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.

See also

parsonage in Czech: Fara
parsonage in Danish: Pastorat
parsonage in German: Pastorat
parsonage in French: Presbytère
parsonage in Italian: Canonica
parsonage in Lithuanian: Klebonija
parsonage in Dutch: Pastorie
parsonage in Japanese: 牧師館
parsonage in Polish: Plebania
parsonage in Silesian: Fara
parsonage in Swedish: Pastorat

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Dymaxion house, White House, adobe house, building, casa, church house, clergy house, cliff dwelling, consulate, country house, country seat, dacha, deanery, dwelling house, edifice, embassy, erection, fabric, farm, farmhouse, glebe, hall, house, houseboat, lake dwelling, living machine, lodge, manor house, manse, pastorage, pastorate, penthouse, prefabricated house, presbytery, presidential palace, ranch house, rectory, roof, skyscraper, sod house, split-level, structure, town house, vicarage
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