Sinecure (sine cura, "without care," i.e. of souls), in ecclesiastical usage, may be either

1. A benefice of pecuniary value, a rectory, or vicarage, in which there is neither church nor population;

2. A benefice in which the rector receives the tithes, though the cure of souls, legally and ecclesiastically, belongs to some clerk; or

3. A benefice in which there are both rector and vicar, in which case the duty commonly rests with the vicar, and the rectory is called a sinecure; but no church in which there is but one incumbent is properly a sinecure.

A church may be down, or the parish become destitute of parishioners; but still there is not a sinecure, for the incumbent is under an obligation of performing divine service if the church should be rebuilt or the parish become inhabited.

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