This glossary is designed to explain or clarify some of the terms used in the text; these terms refer to the church, clergy, architecture and aspects of the monuments. This glossary is on-going and will be added to or revised at intervals. I would welcome any modifications or clarifications that visitors to the site may think useful.
Abbot The head of a major religious house of the Benedictine Order or certain orders of Canons Regular. Normally elected for life by the monks
Collegiate Church A church served by a chapter of canons and/or prebendaries but is not a cathedral
Canon A member of a body of clergy serving a cathedral or collegiate church
Canon Regular Member of a community of canons living under a rule, usually that of St Augustine
Cathedral A church which contains cathedra or throne of the bishop of the diocese. The head church of the diocese.
Cathedrals of the Modern Foundation In the nineteenth century with  the increase of population in the industrial centres, especially in the north, many of the old dioceses had become too large to manage so twenty new cathedrals were created. Some of these were former monastic churches, others were parish churches while three new cathedrals were built. At Coventry a fourth new cathedral replaced, yet integrated with, the bombed out parish church. These new creations are termed Cathedrals of the Modern Foundation.
Cathedral of the New Foundation At the time of the Reformation eight Cathedrals were served by monks under a prior or - in the case of Carlisle by canons regular. These were known as cathedral priories. These were reorganised on secular grounds to be served by secular canons under a dean. At the same time five former monastic churches were elevated to cathedral status. Actually the latter number was six as Westminister Abbey served as a cathedral for ten years. These were all termed Cathedrals of the New Foundation.
Cathedral of the Old Foundation At the time of the Reformation nine Cathedral were served by secular canons under a dean; their administration was left virtaully unchanged. They are referred to as Cathedrals of the Old Foundation
Cathedral Priory In the case of a cathedral of the old foundation, the bishop of the diocese was also the titual abbot of the monastry, although the day to day running devolved on the prior, the abbot's deputy. Hence the term 'cathedral priory'.
Monk Member of a closed community of men who lived according to a rule and were bound by the three vows of poverity, chastity and obedience. Some monks were also ordained priests but not necessarily so
Prior Either the second in command to an abbot,  or the head of a religious house which was dependent on a larger, more important abbey