The bishop, by the act of institution, commits to the clerk the cure of souls attached to the office to which the benefice is annexed.
Curare, to take care of), properly a presbyter who has the cure of souls within a parish.
Before 1898 there were also donative advowsons, but the Benefices Act 1898 made all donations with cure of souls presentative.
By this statute the term benefice is defined to mean benefice with cure of souls and no other, and therein to comprehend all parishes, perpetual curacies, donatives, endowed public chapels, parochial chapelries and chapelries or districts belonging or reputed to belong, or annexed or reputed to be annexed, to any church or chapel.
So, regulars having cure of souls are subject to the jurisdiction of the bishop in matters pertaining thereto (ib.
A benefice is avoided or vacated - (1) by death; (2) by resignation, if the bishop is willing to accept the resignation: by the In cumbents' Resignation Act 1871, Amendment Act 188 7, any clergyman who has been an incumbent of one benefice continuously for seven years, and is incapacitated by permanent mental or bodily infirmities from fulfilling his duties, may, if the bishop thinks fit, have a commission appointed to consider the fitness of his resigning; and if the commission report in favour of his resigning, he may, with the consent of the patron (or, if that is refused, with the consent of the archbishop) resign the cure of souls into the bishop's hands, and have assigned to him, out of the benefice, a retiring-pension not exceeding one-third of its annual value, which is recoverable as a debt from his successor; (3) by cession, upon the clerk being instituted to another benefice or some other preferment incompatible with it; (4) by deprivation and sentence of an ecclesiastical court; under the Clergy Discipline Act 1892, an incumbent who has been convicted of offences against the law of bastardy, or against whom judgment has been given in a divorce or matrimonial cause, is deprived, and on being found guilty in the consistory court of immorality or ecclesiastical offences (not in respect of doctrine or ritual), he may be deprived or suspended or declared incapable of preferment; (5) by act of law in consequence of simony; (6) by default of the clerk in neglecting to read publicly in the church the Book of Common Prayer, and to declare his assent thereto within two months after his induction, pursuant to an act of 1662.
In medieval ecclesiastical usage the term might be applied to almost any person having ecclesiastical authority; it was very commonly given to the more dignified clergy of a cathedral church, but often also to ordinary priests charged with the cure of souls and, in the early days of monasticism, to monastic superiors, even to superiors of convents of women.
By the Clergy Discipline Act of 1892 it was decreed that the trial of clerks accused of unfitness to exercise the cure of souls should be before the consistory court with five assessors.