Glossary

Aisle: an area which runs parallel to the nave

Apse: a projection from the east end of a church, often housing the altar or an organ

Baldacchino: a canvas canopy which sits above the altar and is supported from above

Baptistry: an area of a Christian church used for baptisms

Bellcote/ Belfry: a support for a bell (or bells), usually mounted on a gable or wallhead

Campanile: a bell tower, often free standing

Chancel: the area around the altar reserved for the clergy and choir, sometimes separated from the nave by steps or a screen

Ciborium: a canopy which sits above the altar and is supported by columns

Dossal: A hung ornamental item to be found behind the altar or at the side of a chancel, typically of embroidered fabric.

Font: a ritual basin holding water, used in baptisms

Finial: a vertical decorative finish to a steeple, spire or apex of a gable

Flèche: a small spire located on a roof ridge

Lady Chapel: a chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary, usually located behind the sanctuary

Lucarne: a canopied opening in a spire

Narthex: an entrance hall or foyer, usually located at the west end of a church

Nave: the central part of a church, traditionally the worship space used by lay people

Plinth: a raised platform

Presbytery: the area of a church used by the clergy, sometimes a separate building

Sacristy: a room used to store sacred vessels

Sanctuary: the area immediately around the altar, sometimes separated by railings

Transept: a projection, usually north or south, from the main body of a church

Tester: a suspended, or cantilevered, canopy which sits above the altar

Vestibule: see Narthex

Vestry: a room or building attached to a church used for changing into ceremonial vestments

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