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A rectory is the residence of a leader of a local Christian church. Many former rectories may still be referred to locally as a rectory once a church or religious organisation has vacated the property.

Depending on denomination, local custom, and the status of the minister, the building inhabited (or formerly inhabited) by the leader of a local Christian church can be referred to by one of several names.

In Roman Catholic churches it is often called a rectory, sometimes a presbytery. Traditionally Catholic rectories housed several priests from a parish, as opposed to other denominations where a church leader is often married and raising children. A rectory also often functions as the administrative office of the local parish.

In churches that are members of the Anglican Communion, the building will most commonly be called a rectory or vicarage, depending on the status of the incumbent.

Methodists might refer to it as a manse or parsonage, while the latter is quite frequently used in English-speaking Lutheran churches. Manse is the usual name for the house of a Church of Scotlandmarker minister.

Pastorium is the usual term in the Southern United States, especially among Baptists.

These homes are traditionally owned and maintained by the church, as a benefit to their ministers. The practice continues to this day in many denominations because of the tendency of church officials to be sent from one church to another at relatively frequent intervals. Many buildings described as "vicarage" or "rectory" that are sold by the church retain their former names, often qualified, such as "The Old Rectory", etc.

File:Pfarrhaus Ilmenau.JPG|A rectory in Thuringiamarker, Germany.File:Halton Vicarage.jpg|Halton Vicaragemarker, England.File:Rüti - Kloster Rüti - Pfarrhaus IMG 1658.JPG|Former Rüti Abbeymarker, a Protestant rectory, Switzerland.File:West Manse Sanday.jpg|The West Manse, Sandaymarker, Scotland (formerly the Free Kirk manse).


The Rectory of St. Paul's School, Darjeeling is one of the oldest buildings in Darjeelingmarker built during the British India Era in 1813. It was the residence of the owner of the Jalapahar estate until 1846 when the estate was acquired by Bishop Cotton to establish St. Paul's School. The splendid building was christened the 'Rectory' and is used today as the official residence of the school Rector (principal) and his family.


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