PRESBYTERY, in architecture, that portion of the choir of a church in which the high altar is placed, and which is generally raised by a few steps above the rest of the church. It is reserved for the priests, and in that respect differs from the choir, the stalls in which are occasionally occupied by the laity. In Westminster Abbey the space east of the transept is the presbytery, and the same arrangement is found in Canterbury Cathedral. In San Clemente at Rome the presbytery is enclosed with a marble balustrade or screen. For the use of the word in Church government see PRESBYTER and PRESBYTERIANISM.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)