14th-century sedilia at St Andrew’s Church, Heckington, Lincolnshire
Wikimedia Commons

Sedilia (plural of Latin sedīle, “seat”) are seats, usually made of stone but sometimes wooden, found on the south side of an altar, often in the chancelPart of a church containing the altar, used by the officiating clergy., for use during Mass by the officiating priest and his assistants, the deacon and sub-deacon. An established feature in English churches by the 12th century, they are rarely found elsewhere in Europe.[1]

In more recent times, since 1964,[a]Following the Church of England’s Faculty Jurisdiction Measure, 1964. the sedilia has largely been replaced by a chair for the celebrant in the centre of the chancel.[2]


a Following the Church of England’s Faculty Jurisdiction Measure, 1964.



Coldstream, Nicola. “Sedilia.” The Oxford Companion to Western Art, Online, Oxford  University Press, 2003, https://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/acref/9780198662037.001.0001/acref-9780198662037-e-2400.
Livingstone, E. A. “Sedilia.” The Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, Online, Oxford University Press, 2014, https://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/acref/9780199659623.001.0001/acref-9780199659623-e-5231.