Glossary

Terms beginning with B

Baptism

1)     The sacrament of Baptism is the initiation rite into the Christian faith which symbolises the candidates ‘dying and rising with Christ’. In Baptism, water is used either for pouring or immersing the candidate. This sacrament is regarded as ‘life giving’ in that the baptised are said become ‘inheritors of eternal life’. The baptised are also believed to be recipients of the Holy Spirit.

Bells

1)     Bells are used to call people to worship. Between six and eight bells are rung by teams of ringers before the main services. In Anglican churches there is an involved system of ‘change ringing’ which dates back four hundred years and is still evolving.

Benedict (Saint)

1)     The Rule of St. Benedict was the inspiration for the Benedictine Order of monks who were first responsible for the life and work of many English cathedrals. St. Benedict was the founder of western monasticism and the Order which bears his name quickly spread all over Europe. Both Pope Gregory the Great and St. Augustine, whom he sent to be the first Archbishop of Canterbury, were Benedictines. The Order was largely responsible for teaching the faith and spreading the gospel in the early Middle Ages.

Benedictine

1)     A Benedictine is a member of a monastic community which abides by the rule of St. Benedict. Benedictines live in community and take vows of obedience, poverty chastity and stability. They recite the ‘Divine Offices’ or daily set prayers and see prayer as work and work as prayer.

Bible

1)     The Bible is the collection of Hebrew and Greek scriptures venerated by Christians as the word of God. It was not available to ordinary lay people in the 15th century. Most Bible stories were only known through the Mystery plays.

Bishop

1)     There are three orders of ministry in the Church: bishops, priests and deacons. The bishop is the most senior, consecrated as governor and chief shepherd of the Diocese.

Bishopric

1)     Usually denotes the diocesan responsibilities of a bishop

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Amendments

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Credits

The original core of this glossary was commissioned from Canon Phillip McFadyen of St George's Colegate, in Norwich.