Also found in: Wikipedia.


n.1.A church or parish festival (as in commemoration of the dedication of a church), at which much ale was used.
References in periodicals archive ?
Indeed the profit-driven nature of transactions at festive events such as church-ales was a point of contention in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
12) On the centrality of church-ales to the financing of rural festivities, Kumin writes "The key element in the financial success of rural festivities was their association with church ales and-often-play or music as additional attractions" (118).
In her extensive work on church-ales, Judith Bennett has shown that commerce and charity at festivities, with their attendant heavy drinking in crowded, convivial settings, changed the nature of the reciprocity inherent in church-ales.