Church-Wardens, officers in the Church of England, whose business is to look to the church, church-yard, and to observe the behavior of the parishioners; to levy a shilling forfeiture on all such as do not go to church on Sundays, and to keep persons orderly in church time, etc. By Canon 89, church-wardens or questmen in every parish are required to be chosen by the joint consent of the minister and the parishioners, if it may be; but if they cannot agree upon such a choice, then the minister shall choose one and the parishioners another, and without such a joint or several choice none shall take upon them to be church-wardens. But if the parish is entitled by custom to choose both church-wardens, then the parson is restrained of his right under this canon. The duties of English church-wardens are laid down in Prideaux, Practical Guide to the Duties of Church-wardens (10th ed. Lond. 1835, 12mo). In the Protestant Episcopal Church in America, their duties in general are to protect the church building, to see that worship is duly provided for and performed, and to represent the body of the parish when occasion may require. They are chosen, with the vestrymen, "annually in Easter-week, according to the canons of the various dioceses." Their duties are enjoined by diocesan, not by general canons. — Hook, Church Dictionary, s.v.; Staunton, Ecclesiastical Dictionary, s.v.

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