chapters and chapter houses
Cathedrals which were not monastic foundations, and collegiate churches, were served by secular clergy, the canons or prebendaries, who constituted the capitular body or chapter. Each member of the chapter had his stall in the choir and seat in the chapter house, and initially each had a predetermined period of residence, when he was expected to assist with the conduct of the church's worship. As time passed these duties became increasingly the responsibility of a smaller group of residentiary canons, usually the precentor (responsible for the music and the ordering of the services), the chancellor (responsible for education), and the treasurer (responsible for the cathedral's fabric, and the vestments and vessels used in worship).
The reforms of the Ecclesiastical Commission in the 19th cent. deprived the prebendaries of their estates, income, and most of their obligations, and, except for the residentiary canons who, with the dean or provost of the cathedral, continue to be responsible for its management and worship, the title of canon or prebendary is now honorary.
Revd Dr John R. Guy
"chapters and chapter houses." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/chapters-and-chapter-houses
"chapters and chapter houses." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved September 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/chapters-and-chapter-houses
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