In ecclesiastical law. In its technical sense, this term includes ecclesiastical preferments to which rank or public office is attached, otherwise described as ecclesiastical dignities or offices, such as bishoprics, deaneries, and the like; but in popular acceptation, it is almost invariably appropriated to rectories, vicarages, perpetual curacies, district churches, and endowed ehapelries. 3 Steph. Comm. 77. “Benefice” is a term derived from the feudal law, in which it signified a permanent stipendiary estate, or an estate held by feu dal tenure. 3 Steph. Comm. 77, note, i; 4 Bl. Comm. 107.