A cathedral is a church which is the main church of a religious diocese and the seat of the local bishop. In everyday language, large churches that are not held by a bishop are occasionally also incorrectly called cathedrals. Historically, in England a cathedral was considered the status symbol that made of a town a city. Certain cathedrals, and churches, prior to Henry VIII, were attached to monasteries or abbeys. These were called minsters; and their origins are seen today in their names: Westminster, York Minster, Beverley Minster etc.,
Cathedrals are named after the cathedra, which in Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican cathedrals is the bishop's throne and seat of authority. In Catholicism, official decrees and laws promulgated by a bishop are said to come ex cathedra. All of this understanding of Cathedra, meaning "seat", linked up with the exercise of authority comes from the Hebrew and Jewish context. The "position" of authority is not standing (to preach) as it is in modern churches, but rather sitting. It is not clear why this is so. Some suggestions: that authority was naturally derived from experienced distilled from age, and sitting was natural to older men; that sitting is the natural position of derived authority from Scripture which is spread before one in the form of Scrolls.