Friday, 26 March 2021


Have you wondered what the difference is between vicars and rectors?

Frankly I've been unsure myself; my trusty Nuttall's dictionary, however, explains it neatly.

Vicar; Vicarage; Vicarial; Vicarship.

Vicar: the incumbent of a parish who, not being a rector, is remunerated by a stipend, not directly by tithes.

A stipend, as if you didn't know, is an annual payment or salary.

Vicars were practically employed by landowners, lords of the manor, nobility, and gentry.

The title of Vicar is today virtually synonymous with that of Rector, though possibly some very grand ducal or noble houses still employ them in estate churches.

In the Church of Ireland, many vicarages have been united or amalgamated with rectories; for instance, the Rector of Killinchy is also today the Vicar of Kilmood (St Mary's parish church, Kilmood, County Down, was the estate church of Florida Manor, and vicars were appointed by the Gordons, lords of the manor).

The Vicar of Belfast's patron used to be Lord Donegall; whereas today the Dean of Belfast is also Vicar of Belfast.

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