OED, please note
A colleague was perplexed to come across the word cribbery while proofreading a page of religious notes. He had never seen the word before, and it did not turn up in printed or electronic dictionaries, including the Oxford English Dictionary.
What I suspect — and a superficial Google search confirms — is that it is a largely regional term. Mainline churches, particularly Episcopal, Presbyterian and Methodist — in the Mid-Atlantic frequently list on their Web sites that they offer cribberies. There are examples from Massachusetts and Ohio, but the word most commonly appears with congregations in Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania.
Many churches offer nursery care for children during services. Some announce that they have nurseries and cribberies or a combined nursery/cribbery. A cribbery specifically offers care for infants and toddlers, sometimes with a trained staff member rather than a volunteer parishioner. The derivation from the word crib is obvious, as is the indication that care for infants is included.
The Google search also turned up examples such as this one from a personal Web journal: The honeys done talk my ear off on what they did at T's ma duke's cribbery. In this and similar examples, cribbery appears to derive from crib in the slang sense of a person’s apartment or house or jail cell. And perhaps some examples also derive from underworld slang for a brothel. Probably not a sense that any Anglicans are encouraging.
If you were not previously aware of the word, your vocabulary has now benefited from a modest expansion, and the lexicographers have a little more data for their swelling files.
And an update: I believe that the paragraphing problem in some RSS feeds has been resolved, thanks to the advice of Mary Hartney, whom I hired as a copy editor before she was elevated to the multimedia desk. When your abilities are modest, always hire smarter people.