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Encyclopedia > Parishes

A parish is a subdivision of a diocese or bishopric within the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Church of Sweden, and of some other churches. In Roman Catholicism, each parish has the services of a parish priest, who acts as the chaplain to the area. In some countries, a parish priest may have a fellow priest, called a curate, working along with him. Each parish usually has a central church or chapel, called the parish church, where religious services take place. Some larger parishes may have a number of such churches or chapels.

With the decline in the numbers of people seeking ordination, in some countries many parishes are now being merged together or are all sharing the services of one priest. In some countries, parishes are now merely the equivalent of states in the USA, provinces in Canada or counties in England.

A parish, sometimes called "civil parish" to distinguish it from a religious one, is also a geographical subdivision used in several parts of the world, including:

In these areas, it originated as a religious subdivision, but over time has come to be a purely civil one. The lowlands of South Carolina were also previously divided into parishes, rather than counties, well into the nineteenth century.

  Results from FactBites:
CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Parish (4386 words)
parish priest is no longer working faithfully among his flock, is bound to select as counsellors two of the synodal or pro-synodal examiners, in order of their nomination, and explain the situation to them.
parish be held by members of a religious order, the bishop is not thereby constrained to entrust the newly-formed district to regulars..
parishes, may be removed either by their superior or by the bishop, without either being constrained to give the reason for his action to the other.
Parish - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (836 words)
Appointment as a parish priest entails the enjoyment of a benefice.
Parishes of this type are found in England, Ireland, the Channel Islands, the U.S. state of Louisiana (where it is equivalent to a county), Estonia and a number of island nations in the region of the Caribbean.
In Quebec, a parish is a large rural municipality consisting mainly of farmlands, as opposed to a village.
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