[Bell Historians] Minsters

John Camp camp at b...
Thu Apr 22 12:08:31 BST 2004

There was correspondence about minsters on ringing-chat in 1997. I
see from the archives that I sent this message:

The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church has the following:
"minster (Lat. monasteriurn, 'monastery'; cf Ger. Munster)
A name applied to certain cathedrals and other large churches in England,
esp. the cathedrals of York, Lincoln, Ripon, Southwell, and Lichfield, and
the churches at Beverley, Wimborne, etc. As a common noun it originally
meant any monastic establishment or its church, whether strictly a monastery
(e.g. the abbey at Westminster) or a house or college of secular canons
(which was also often called monasterium in the Middle Ages), such as were
all those mentioned above. In Anglo-Saxon England ëold minstersí founded by
kings and bishops on their estates and staffed by groups of clergy living in
community, were the centres of vast parishes, which new churches, each
served by a single priest, were created to serve smaller areas. One such
minster is still recalled by Minster Street in Reading; Lambourn, Aylesbury,
Hampton, and Sonning were others in the same region."

I'm not at all clear how a diocese can designate a church as a

John Camp

More information about the Bell-historians mailing list