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Also "Laity". Opposite of "Clergy." This word means "not ordained". A lay person, or layman, is one who is not a priest or deacon. A lay society is one whose members do not take holy orders.



A "mission" is a church in some location that is administratively part of a church in another location. In former centuries it was common to refer to the staff of a mission as "missionaries", but that term is no longer in common use. A large urban parish church might open a mission church in an impoverished section of its city, knowing that a church there would not be self supporting. In recent years there have been several cases of Anglican churches in one country opening a mission in another country because they believe that the Anglicans there are Godless heathens. This is one reason why the Archbishop of Canterbury has less hair now than he did when he was first enthroned.



Technically a National Church is a Province, but in the Anglican church the word "Province" has a meaning that is both unusual and ambiguous. The Anglican Communion consists of about 40 Autonomous Churches, most of which are associated with a particular country. In conversation that requires one to speak about this concept, most people use the phrase "national church" to describe an independent (autonomous) member of the Anglican Communion. Many national churches are subdivided into provinces, but those provinces are not autonomous (they are part of, and governed by, a national church). Some national churches are not divided into provinces, with the result that the church in its entirety is often referred to as a province.



To "ordain" a person means to have that person participate in a special ceremony in which someone with the correct authority gives them new status. The ordination must follow the requirements set down in the church canons. In our church, the ceremony in which a person is ordained is called an "ordination," and it is performed by a bishop, by prayer for the Holy Spirit and by the laying of hands upon the candidate. Until a person is ordained, that person is called "lay," or a member of the "laity".