Church-rates are an assessment made upon the inhabitants of any parish in England for meeting the expenses of repairing the parish church. The rate must be agreed upon at a meeting of the churchwardens and parishioners, regularly called by public notice, but if none of the parishioners appear, the wardens alone make the rate. Houses, as well as lands, are chargeable with rates, and in cities and large towns houses alone are rated. A rate for repairing the church is charged, upon the real estate, while a rate for providing ornaments is charged upon the goods or personal property. The rector is held to all charges for repairing the chancel, and is exempt from any rate for repairs on the church in general, except when he holds lands within the parish not belonging to the rectory. Church-rates have long been unpopular in England, and cannot be raised at the mere instance of the bishop; the consent of the parishioners is required.

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