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Basic Information

A sexton is a secular employee of a relgious community who is reponsible for the upkeep and good order of the place of worship and its grounds, and may also assist during worship services in some capacity. Where the place of worship in question has a graveyard attached (or a crypt) the sexton will usually be in charge of organising and/or conducting the interrments. A sexton may also be responsible for the upkeep of other properties belonging to the community, such as the minister's residence. This office is often combined with that of verger, particularly in small Anglican churches, whilst larger operations such as minsters or cathedrals might well have a team of sextons.

In Protestant churches, this role is likely to be taken by one or more of the deacons and/or volunteers from the community, in Judaism this function is held by an official called the Gabbai or Shamash … the Gabbai in particular being quite verger like as well. Many classical religions had temple slaves who had similar maintenance roles.


1. full source reference

Game and Story Use

  • If the PCs are planting, endowing or running a place of worship, they will need one of these.
  • Otherwise, this is the person most likely to be hanging around the site outside normal worship hours (if such things exist) - or to catch the PCs doing so.
  • The graveyard tending duties are liable to make them a useful source of information about who was buried where, when and under what circumstances and to be likely to encounter anomalies in burials - people that don't stay buried for one reason or another, unauthorised use of graves and the like.
  • Also likely to be subverted or murdered by those determined to interfere with the place of worship or its graveyard.
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