Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Related to presbytery: Presbyterian


(prĕz`bĭtĕr'ē, prĕs`–), in architecture, the space in the eastern end of a church reserved for the higher clergy. It was also known in the early Christian Church as the apseapse,
the termination at the sanctuary end of a church, generally semicircular in plan but sometimes square or polygonal. The apse appeared early in Roman temples and basilicas; it was originally a semicircular recess with a half dome as ceiling and contained the monumental
..... Click the link for more information.
, tribune, or exedra. In the English medieval cathedrals the presbytery usually occupies a large space between the high altar and the choir stalls. The term is used in Presbyterian churches for the court composed of the ministers and representative elders (one from each congregation) of a district.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



in European and Eastern Christian architecture, the space between the solea and the altar, or the table for the sacraments. In Orthodox churches, the presbytery corresponds to the bema, and in Western European medieval churches, to the central part of the choir.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

presbytery, presbyterium

The actual sanctuary of a church beyond the choir and occupied only by the officiating clergy.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


1. Presbyterian Church
a. a local Church court composed of ministers and elders
b. the congregations or churches within the jurisdiction of any such court
2. the part of a cathedral or church east of the choir, in which the main altar is situated; sanctuary
3. presbyters or elders collectively
4. government of a church by presbyters or elders
5. RC Church the residence of a parish priest
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Graffiti, above, and boarded-up windows, right, at St Oswald's Church presbytery, in Old Swan, main picture Pictures: ANDREW TEEBAY
The announcement was made of the retirement of Mr Stewart Hunter, additional elder, on the grounds of ill health from presbytery. Intimations were given.
Ministers were told that those who went into the services would be relieved of responsibility for their parishes while the presbytery of Dumbarton would take over parish duties.
Andrew reports that he is pleased with the progress to date and presbytery has also expressed confidence and approval of the program so far.
When some conservative leaders initiated a plan to launch the ECO denomination, the presbytery developed with great care a "reconciliation and dismissal procedure." Many other presbyteries did so, too, but where some of the others' policies are stringent and even threatening, the NCP policy is filled with grace.
“The churches of the Presbytery of New Brunswick, which covers a triangular area roughly from Trenton to Milford to New Brunswick, represent a wide swath of culture,” said the Rev.
Inverness presbytery clerk Rev Alastair Younger said: "It is always sad to lose someone by death but by being the oldest minister, he was the father of the Church of Scotland.
Debra Wollens, Director, of Colliers ABR represented the Presbytery in the sales.
A witness reported hearing noises from St Joseph's Presbytery, in Gilesgate, Durham, at 8.30pm on January 18.
Unemployed Alvin Lawlor, 24, of Whitethorn Park in Dublin's Artane, denied breach of the peace at Beaumont Presbytery, Dublin, on two occasions last year.
Various Jewish Federation and Anti-Defamation League officials contacted the Chicago Presbytery leadership, which refused to condemn the statements or meeting, saying instead that the trip was unofficial and not the responsibility of the group.
It was very important that the whole matter was put behind them and that everyone worked together with the Presbytery to ensure the success of Salem in the future, he said.