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Lecturer

A term used of a clergyman of the Church of England who preached a sermon on a specified day in a given parish church or cathedral. The lectureship was much used by Puritans in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries as a means of propagating Protestant theology and gaining direct access to many people whose parish clergy were not committed preachers. The lecturer was not usually the incumbent of the parish, and his support came from other than normal ecclesiastical funds—e.g., directly from parishioners, a corporation, or a nobleman.