The member of the clergy, typically a priest or presbyter, with pastoral responsibility for a parish. In medieval times, the rector of a parish was the parson, or legal "person" who held the legal property rights of the parish. The rector could sue and be sued as the parson of the parish. The term is from the Latin persona. It may now be used to indicate any member of the clergy.
Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.