Definition of vestry in English:



  • 1A room or building attached to a church, used as an office and for changing into ceremonial vestments.

    • ‘The new vestry (started August 1, projected completion date October 31) is just beginning to get its roof on.’
    • ‘Albert had been working in the vestry and was caught.’
    • ‘A system of smoke detectors is set to cover the entire cathedral including the soon to be completed new vestry and education room.’
    • ‘Original plans to rebuild the vestry were estimated at £350,000, with £260,000 of that received from a legacy.’
    • ‘The school opened with just nine pupils, using a church hall as a classroom and the vestry as an office.’
    • ‘The first hymn will provide the perfect cover for a quick dash to the vestry, where Andrew will swap the father's suit for his vicar's vestments.’
    • ‘By the time the choir had gone into the vestry, the entire church was in complete and utter darkness.’
    • ‘After ransacking the vestry and attempting to tear a steel donation box from the wall the burglars left empty-handed.’
    • ‘The new choir and organ loft will create a useful space underneath for a vestry with a secure area for valuables, kitchens, toilets and storage space.’
    • ‘Today the building has interesting features including stained glass windows, a carved rood screen, a pipe organ, a choir vestry and a beautifully carved pulpit.’
    • ‘Almost every gravestone was flattened by the force of the water which even got into the vestry - two steps higher than the church floor.’
    • ‘This morning we had a working party to clear the existing vestry.’
    • ‘Please inform your priest in the vestry before Mass if you wish to receive.’
    • ‘This simple meeting room was opened in 1840, being a large room with a small vestry to the rear.’
    • ‘How many boxes of candles are stacked in church vestries across Britain?’
    • ‘The vestry includes a toilet for the disabled and baby-changing facilities.’
    • ‘Outside is a small boiler house and the vestry with a single room of about 90 sq ft.’
    • ‘It will also include two meeting rooms, a kitchen, an office, a vestry and toilets.’
    • ‘They were married in the vestry of St. Patrick's Cathedral, in New York, one week after his first novel, This Side of Paradise, was published.’
    • ‘They have found neglected war memorials left in back rooms, museum stores and vestries, and hope that their work will persuade the relevant organisations to display them prominently once more.’
    1. 1.1 A meeting of parishioners, originally in a vestry, for the conduct of parochial business.


Late Middle English: probably from an Anglo-Norman French alteration of Old French vestiarie, from Latin vestiarium.