Nave. The western, and largest, part of a church, and traditionally the part that belonged to the people. The word comes from the Latin navus, meaning a boat. Some are long and thin, others square. In a medieval church, the parish rates were responsible for the upkeep of the nave, and the rectory for the upkeep of the chancel. They used the nave for private devotions, and to contain their guild and chantry altars. Today, it is where the poeple sit for the congregational worship of the Church of England. A nave may be flanked by one or two aisles, separated from it by arcades.