[Bell Historians] Minsters

David Bryant david at b...
Thu Apr 22 14:09:26 BST 2004

> The minsters in this part of the world (Wiltshire)were an Anglo-Saxon
> development AND were centres of worship for an area which in modern terms
> would cover several parishes

If I remember rightly, the term 'Minster' goes back to the early days of the church in this country, and seems to have no specific meaning although, as you say, it generally implies a church with jurisdiction over a fairly wide area. Presumably it is this non-specificity which made the modern CofE decide to use it to give airs and graces to the parish churches of newly elevated cities.

One of the parish churches in York, St Mary Castlegate, has an early dedication stone of probably 11th-century date, on which the church is described as a 'mynster', although there doesn't seem to be any evidence that it excerised a particularly wide jurisdiction.

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