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Church design

- a church is a building set aside for public worship, Christianity is implied. The recognised form of Christian architecture evolved from the early 4th century. The religious circle has survived, but the most usual plan form is the cross, in Britain, the Latin cross where one arm is longer than the others prevailed. Verticality was sought for both symbolic and practical reasons, spires were added to towers to form steeples, and internally, an impression of height was achieved with the nave, chancel and transepts, lit from clerestory windows high in the walls where they avoided the roofs of the aisles. The longest part of the church is traditionally orientated east/west, with the altar at the eastern end. The main entrance is usually at the west end. Not all churches followed this design of course, the more austere were happy to worship in "God Boxes" plain rectangles, sometimes with a spire.

Abbey - a monastery where, either monks live, governed by an abbot, or in the case of nuns, governed by an abbess.
Aisle - passages flanking the nave and choir, separated from them by arcades.
Altar - originally a structure on which offerings to a god were placed, often for sacrifice. In the Christian church, the altar is often in the form of a stone table, can be elaborately carved, and containing relics.
Ambulatory - a roofed passageway, enclosing the apse, and linking the aisles which flank the nave.
Apse - a semicircular or polygonal extension to the chancel, usually vaulted.
Aumbry-a small recess or cupboard used to hold sacred vessels, most often in the thickness of the wall.
Cathedral - a Bishop's church, from cathedra, the bishop's chair, positioned behind the altar, in the centre of the apse.
Canon - a member of the chapter, the body who presides over a cathedral, or other important religious house.
Chancel/chancel arch - the continuation of the nave, east of the crossing, where the altar is placed. The chancel arch occurs where the chancel meets the crossing.
Chapel - most popularly applies to a private place of worship, but can be part of a church, where often, worship of a particular saint is implied.
Chapterhouse - the place where the governing body of a cathedral or monastery meets. Usually polygonal in plan they are adjacent or attached to the main church.
Choir - where divine service is sung, usually part of the chancel.
Clerestory (clearstorey) - the upper parts of the main walls of a church, pierced by windows.
Cloisters - an enclosed space, usually on the south side of the nave, connecting the church to the domestic parts of the monastery. Characterised by covered walkways.
Crossing - the area where the nave and choir intercept with the transepts.
Minster - originally the church of a monastry, then became used to describe any large church. Best known example, York Minster.
Monastery - a self contained, organised religious community, and the communal buildings around which the life of the inhabitants revolves.
Nave - the western limb of a church, where the congregation meets.
Reredos - a decorative screen situated to the rear of the altar.
Rood - a large crucifix (christ on the cross) usually over the entrance to the chancel. A rood tower or spire is one situated over the crossing.
Triforium - an arcaded wall passage, extending around a church between the ground floor arcade and the clerestory.