Parishes of the Isle of Man
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A parish is a territorial entity in many
Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of ...
denominations, constituting a division within a
diocese In Ecclesiastical polity, church governance, a diocese or bishopric is the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop. History In the later organization of the Roman Empire, the increasingly subdivided Roman province, pro ...
. A parish is under the pastoral care and clerical jurisdiction of a
priest A priest is a religious leader authorized to perform the sacred rituals of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and one or more deity, deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious rites; in p ...
, often termed a parish priest, who might be assisted by one or more
curates A curate () is a person who is invested with the Cure of souls, ''care'' or ''cure'' (''cura'') ''of souls'' of a parish. In this sense, "curate" means a parish, parish priest; but in English-speaking countries the term ''curate'' is commonly use ...
, and who operates from a
parish church A parish church (or parochial church) in Christianity is the Church (building), church which acts as the religious centre of a parish. In many parts of the world, especially in rural areas, the parish church may play a significant role in co ...
. Historically, a parish often covered the same geographical area as a
manor Manor may refer to: Land ownership *Manorialism Manorialism, also known as the manor system or manorial system, was the method of land ownership (or "Land tenure, tenure") in parts of Europe, notably France and later England, during the Midd ...
. Its association with the parish church remains paramount. By extension the term ''parish'' refers not only to the territorial entity but to the people of its community or congregation as well as to church property within it. In England this church property was technically in ownership of the parish priest ''
ex-officio An ''ex officio'' member is a member of a body (notably a board, committee, council) who is part of it by virtue of holding another office. The term ''List of Latin phrases (E)#ex officio, ex officio'' is Latin, meaning literally 'from the office' ...
'', vested in him on his institution to that parish.


Etymology and use

First attested in English in the late, 13th century, the word ''parish'' comes from the
Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French: ) was the language spoken in most of the northern half of France from approximately the 8th to the 14th centuries. Rather than a unified language, Old French was a linkage of Romance dialects, mutually intel ...
''paroisse'', in turn from la, paroecia, the latinisation of the grc, παροικία, paroikia, "sojourning in a foreign land", itself from (''paroikos''), "dwelling beside, stranger, sojourner", which is a compound of (''pará''), "beside, by, near" and οἶκος (''oîkos''), "house". As an ancient concept, the term "parish" occurs in the long-established Christian denominations:
Catholic The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptized Catholics worldwide . It is among the world's oldest and largest international institutions, and has played a ...
,
Anglican Communion The Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian communion after the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. Founded in 1867 in London, the communion has more than 85 million members within the Church of England T ...
, the
Eastern Orthodox Church The Eastern Orthodox Church, also called the Orthodox Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptized members. It operates as a Communion (Christ ...
, and
Lutheran Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism, identifying primarily with the theology of Martin Luther, the 16th-century German monk and Protestant Reformers, reformer whose efforts to reform the theology and practice of the Cathol ...
churches, and in some
Methodist Methodism, also called the Methodist movement, is a group of historically related Christian denomination, denominations of Protestantism, Protestant Christianity whose origins, doctrine and practice derive from the life and teachings of John W ...
, Congregationalist and
Presbyterian Presbyterianism is a part of the Reformed tradition within Protestantism that broke from the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland by John Knox, who was a priest at St. Giles Cathedral (Church of Scotland). Presbyterian churches derive their nam ...
administrations. The eighth Archbishop of Canterbury
Theodore of Tarsus Theodore of Tarsus ( gr, Θεόδωρος Ταρσοῦ; 60219 September 690) was Archbishop of Canterbury from 668 to 690. Theodore grew up in Tarsus, Mersin, Tarsus, but fled to Constantinople after the Persian Empire conquered Tarsus and othe ...
(c. 602–690) appended the parish structure to the Anglo-Saxon township unit, where it existed, and where minsters catered to the surrounding district.


Territorial structure

Broadly speaking, the parish is the standard unit in
episcopal polity An episcopal polity is a Hierarchy, hierarchical form of Ecclesiastical polity, church governance ("ecclesiastical polity") in which the chief local authorities are called bishops. (The word "bishop" derives, via the British Latin and Vulgar ...
of church administration, although parts of a parish may be subdivided as a ''
chapelry A chapelry was a subdivision of an ecclesiastical parish in England and parts of Lowland Scotland up to the mid 19th century. Status It had a similar status to a Township (England), township but was so named as it had a chapel of ease (chapel) w ...
'', with a
chapel of ease A chapel of ease (or chapel-of-ease) is a church architecture, church building other than the parish church, built within the bounds of a parish for the attendance of those who cannot reach the parish church conveniently. Often a chapel of ea ...
or
filial church A filial church, in the Roman Catholic Church, is a church to which is annexed the cure of souls, but which remains dependent on another church. The term comes from the Latin ''filialis'', from ''filia'', “daughter”. Description The term ''fili ...
serving as the local place of worship in cases of difficulty to access the main parish church. In the wider picture of ecclesiastical polity, a ''parish'' comprises a division of a diocese or see. Parishes within a diocese may be grouped into a
deanery A deanery (or decanate) is an ecclesiastical entity in the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Anglican Communion, the Evangelical Church in Germany, and the Church of Norway. A deanery is either the jurisdiction or Clergy ho ...
or '' vicariate forane'' (or simply ''vicariate''), overseen by a dean or ''vicar forane'', or in some cases by an
archpriest The ecclesiastical title of archpriest or archpresbyter belongs to certain priests with supervisory duties over a number of parishes. The term is most often used in Eastern Orthodoxy and the Eastern Catholic Churches and may be somewhat analogous ...
. Some churches of the
Anglican Communion The Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian communion after the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. Founded in 1867 in London, the communion has more than 85 million members within the Church of England T ...
have deaneries as units of an
archdeaconry An archdeacon is a senior clergy position in the Church of the East, Chaldean Catholic Church, Syriac Orthodox Church, Anglican Communion, St Thomas Christians, Eastern Orthodox Church, Eastern Orthodox churches and some other Christian denomina ...
.


Outstations

An outstation is a newly-created congregation, a term usually used where the church is
evangelical Evangelicalism (), also called evangelical Christianity or evangelical Protestantism, is a worldwide Interdenominationalism, interdenominational movement within Protestantism, Protestant Christianity that affirms the centrality of being "bor ...
, or a
mission Mission (from Latin ''missio'' "the act of sending out") may refer to: Organised activities Religion *Christian mission, an organized effort to spread Christianity *Mission (LDS Church), an administrative area of The Church of Jesus Christ of ...
and particularly in African countries, but also historically in Australia. They exist mostly within the
Catholic The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptized Catholics worldwide . It is among the world's oldest and largest international institutions, and has played a ...
and
Anglican Anglicanism is a Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is the State religion, established List of Christian denominations, ...
parishes. The Anglican Diocese of Cameroon describes their outstations as the result of
outreach Outreach is the activity of providing services to any population that might not otherwise have access to those services. A key component of outreach is that the group providing it is not stationary, but mobile; in other words, it involves meetin ...
work "initiated, sponsored and supervised by the mother parishes". Once there is a big enough group of worshippers in the same place, the outstation in named by the bishop of the diocese. They are run by "
catechist Catechesis (; from Greek language, Greek: , "instruction by word of mouth", generally "instruction") is basic Christian religious education of children and adults, often from a catechism book. It started as education of Conversion to Christian ...
s/evangelists" or lay readers, and supervised by the creator parish or
archdeaconry An archdeacon is a senior clergy position in the Church of the East, Chaldean Catholic Church, Syriac Orthodox Church, Anglican Communion, St Thomas Christians, Eastern Orthodox Church, Eastern Orthodox churches and some other Christian denomina ...
. Outstations are not self-supporting, and in poor areas often consist of a very simple structure. The parish priest visits as often as possible. If and when the community has grown enough, the outstation may become a parish and have a parish priest assigned to it. The
Assemblies of God The Assemblies of God (AG), officially the World Assemblies of God Fellowship, is a group of over 144 autonomous self-governing national groupings of churches that together form the world's largest Pentecostal Pentecostalism or classical ...
denomination has churches and outstations throughout the world.


Church of England

The
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is the State religion, established List of Christian denominations, Christian church in England and the mother church of the international Anglican Communion. It traces its history to the Christian church record ...
's geographical structure uses the local parish church as its basic unit. The parish system survived the
Reformation The Reformation (alternatively named the Protestant Reformation or the European Reformation) was a major movement within Western Christianity in 16th-century Europe that posed a religious and political challenge to the Catholic Church and in ...
with the Anglican Church's secession from Rome remaining largely untouched; thus, it shares its roots with the
Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptized Catholics Catholic Church by country, worldwide . It is am ...
's system described below. Parishes may extend into different counties or hundreds and historically many parishes comprised extra outlying portions in addition to its principal district, usually being described as 'detached' and intermixed with the lands of other parishes. Church of England parishes nowadays all lie within one of 44 dioceses divided between the provinces of
Canterbury Canterbury (, ) is a cathedral city and UNESCO World Heritage Site, situated in the heart of the City of Canterbury local government district of Kent, England. It lies on the River Stour. The Archbishop of Canterbury The Archbish ...
, 30 and
York York is a cathedral city with Roman Britain, Roman origins, sited at the confluence of the rivers River Ouse, Yorkshire, Ouse and River Foss, Foss in North Yorkshire, England. It is the historic county town of Yorkshire. The city has many hist ...
, 12. Each parish normally has its own parish priest (either a
vicar A vicar (; Latin: ''vicarius'') is a representative, deputy or substitute; anyone acting "in the person of" or wiktionary:agent, agent for a superior (compare "vicarious" in the sense of "at second hand"). Linguistically, ''vicar'' is cognate wit ...
or
rector Rector (Latin for the member of a vessel's crew who steers) may refer to: Style or title *Rector (ecclesiastical) A rector is, in an ecclesiastical sense, a cleric who functions as an administrative leader in some Christian denominations. I ...
, owing to the vagaries of the feudal
tithe A tithe (; from Old English: ''teogoþa'' "tenth") is a one-tenth part of something, paid as a contribution to a religious organization or compulsory tax to government. Today, tithes are normally voluntary and paid in money, cash or cheques or ...
system: rectories usually having had greater income) and perhaps supported by one or more
curate A curate () is a person who is invested with the Cure of souls, ''care'' or ''cure'' (''cura'') ''of souls'' of a parish. In this sense, "curate" means a parish, parish priest; but in English-speaking countries the term ''curate'' is commonly use ...
s or
deacon A deacon is a member of the diaconate, an office in Christianity, Christian churches that is generally associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions. Major Christian churches, such as the ...
s - although as a result of ecclesiastical pluralism some parish priests might have held more than one parish living, placing a curate in charge of those where they do not reside. Now, however, it is common for a number of neighbouring parishes to be placed under one
benefice A benefice () or living is a reward received in exchange for services rendered and as a retainer for future services. The Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Romanum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía t ...
in the charge of a priest who conducts services by rotation, with additional services being provided by
lay reader In Anglicanism Anglicanism is a Western Christianity, Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England following the English Reformation, in the context of the Protestant Re ...
s or other non-ordained members of the church community. A
chapelry A chapelry was a subdivision of an ecclesiastical parish in England and parts of Lowland Scotland up to the mid 19th century. Status It had a similar status to a Township (England), township but was so named as it had a chapel of ease (chapel) w ...
was a subdivision of an
ecclesiastical parish A parish is a territorial entity in many Christian denominations, constituting a division within a diocese In Ecclesiastical polity, church governance, a diocese or bishopric is the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bisho ...
in
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. It is separa ...
, and parts of
Lowland Scotland The Lowlands ( sco, Lallans or ; gd, a' Ghalldachd, , place of the foreigners, ) is a cultural and historical region of Scotland Scotland (, ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. Covering ...
up to the mid 19th century. It had a similar status to a
township A township is a kind of human settlement or administrative subdivision, with its meaning varying in different countries. Although the term is occasionally associated with an urban area, that tends to be an exception to the rule. In Australia, Ca ...
but was so named as it had a
chapel A chapel is a Christian place of prayer and worship that is usually relatively small. The term has several meanings. Firstly, smaller spaces inside a church that have their own altar are often called chapels; the Lady chapel is a common type ...
which acted as a subsidiary place of worship to the main parish church. In England
civil parishes In England, a civil parish is a type of administrative parish used for local government Local government is a generic term for the lowest tiers of public administration within a particular sovereign state. This particular usage of the wo ...
and their governing parish councils evolved in the 19th century as ecclesiastical parishes began to be relieved of what became considered to be civic responsibilities. Thus their boundaries began to diverge. The word "parish" acquired a secular usage. Since 1895, a parish council elected by public vote or a (civil) parish meeting administers a civil parish and is formally recognised as the level of local government below a district council. The traditional structure of the Church of England with the parish as the basic unit has been exported to other countries and churches throughout the
Anglican Communion The Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian communion after the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. Founded in 1867 in London, the communion has more than 85 million members within the Church of England T ...
and
Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy, economics, and political science, the common good (also commonwealth, general welfare, or public benefit) is either what is share ...
but does not necessarily continue to be administered in the same way.


Church of Scotland

The parish is also the basic level of church administration in the
Church of Scotland The Church of Scotland ( sco, The Kirk o Scotland; gd, Eaglais na h-Alba) is the national church in Scotland. The Church of Scotland was principally shaped by John Knox, in the Scottish Reformation, Reformation of 1560, when it split from t ...
. Spiritual oversight of each parish church in
Scotland Scotland (, ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. Covering the northern third of the island of Great Britain, mainland Scotland has a Anglo-Scottish border, border with England to the southeast ...
is responsibility of the congregation's
Kirk Session A session (from the Latin word ''sessio'', which means "to sit", as in sitting to deliberate or talk about something; sometimes called ''consistory'' or ''church board'') is a body of elected elders governing each local church within presbyteria ...
. Patronage was regulated in 1711 ( Patronage Act) and abolished in 1874, with the result that ministers must be elected by members of the congregation. Many parish churches in Scotland today are "linked" with neighbouring parish churches served by a single minister. Since the abolition of parishes as a unit of civil government in Scotland in 1929, Scottish parishes have purely ecclesiastical significance and the boundaries may be adjusted by the local Presbytery.


Church in Wales

The church in Wales was disestablished in 1920 and is made up of six dioceses. Parishes were also civil administration areas until
communities A community is a Level of analysis, social unit (a group of living things) with commonality such as place (geography), place, Norm (social), norms, religion, values, Convention (norm), customs, or Identity (social science), identity. Communiti ...
were established in 1974.


Methodist Church

Although they are more often simply called congregations and have no geographic boundaries, in the
United Methodist Church The United Methodist Church (UMC) is a worldwide mainline Protestant Christian denomination, denomination based in the United States, and a major part of Methodism. In the 19th century, its main predecessor, the Methodist Episcopal Church, was a ...
congregations are called parishes. A prominent example of this usage comes in ''The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church'', in which the committee of every local congregation that handles staff support is referred to as the committee on Pastor-Parish Relations. This committee gives recommendations to the bishop on behalf of the parish/congregation since it is the United Methodist Bishop of the
episcopal area An episcopal area in the United Methodist Church (UMC) is a basic unit of this denomination. It is a region presided over by a Resident Bishop (United Methodist), resident bishop that is similar to a diocese in other Christian denominations. Each ...
who appoints a pastor to each congregation. The same is true in the
African Methodist Episcopal Church The African Methodist Episcopal Church, usually called the AME Church or AME, is a Black church, predominantly African American Methodist Religious denomination, denomination. It adheres to Wesleyan-Arminian theology and has a connexionalism, c ...
and the
Christian Methodist Episcopal Church The Christian Methodist Episcopal (C.M.E.) Church is a historically African American, black religious denomination, denomination within the broader context of Wesleyan Methodism founded and organized by John Wesley in England in 1744 and establis ...
. In New Zealand, a local grouping of Methodist churches that share one or more ministers (which in the United Kingdom would be called a circuit) is referred to as a parish.


Catholic Church

In the Catholic Church, each parish normally has its own
parish priest A parish is a territorial entity in many Christianity, Christian denominations, constituting a division within a diocese. A parish is under the pastoral care and clerical jurisdiction of a priest#Christianity, priest, often termed a parish priest ...
(in some countries called
pastor A pastor (abbreviated as "Pr" or "Ptr" , or "Ps" ) is the leader of a Christian congregation who also gives advice and counsel to people from the community or congregation. In Lutheranism Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protesta ...
or provost), who has responsibility and canonical authority over the parish. What in most English-speaking countries is termed the "parish priest" is referred to as the "pastor" in the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
, where the term "parish priest" is used of any priest assigned to a parish even in a subordinate capacity. These are called "assistant priests", "parochial vicars", "
curates A curate () is a person who is invested with the Cure of souls, ''care'' or ''cure'' (''cura'') ''of souls'' of a parish. In this sense, "curate" means a parish, parish priest; but in English-speaking countries the term ''curate'' is commonly use ...
", or, in the United States, "associate pastors" and "assistant pastors". Each diocese (administrative region) is divided into parishes, each with their own central church called the
parish church A parish church (or parochial church) in Christianity is the Church (building), church which acts as the religious centre of a parish. In many parts of the world, especially in rural areas, the parish church may play a significant role in co ...
, where religious services take place. Some larger parishes or parishes that have been combined under one parish priest may have two or more such churches, or the parish may be responsible for chapels (or chapels of ease) located at some distance from the
mother church Mother church or matrice is a term depicting the Christian Church as a mother in her functions of nourishing and protecting the believer. It may also refer to the primary church of a Christian denomination or diocese, i.e. a cathedral or a metropo ...
for the convenience of distant parishioners. In addition to a parish church, each parish may maintain auxiliary organizations and their facilities such as a
rectory A clergy house is the residence, or former residence, of one or more priests or Minister (Christianity), ministers of religion. Residences of this type can have a variety of names, such as manse, parsonage, rectory or vicarage. Function A cler ...
, parish hall,
parochial school A parochial school is a private primary or secondary school affiliated with a religious organization, and whose curriculum includes general religious education in addition to secular subjects, such as science, mathematics Mathematics is an ...
, or
convent A convent is a community of monks, nuns, Brother (Christian), religious brothers or, Religious sister (Catholic), sisters or priests. Alternatively, ''convent'' means the building used by the community. The word is particularly used in the Catho ...
, frequently located on the same campus or adjacent to the church. Normally, a parish comprises all Catholics living within its geographically defined area, but non-territorial parishes can also be established within a defined area on a personal basis for Catholics belonging to a particular
rite Rite may refer to: * Ritual A ritual is a sequence of activities involving gestures, words, actions, or objects, performed according to a set sequence. Rituals may be prescribed by the traditions of a community, including a religious communit ...
, language, nationality, or community. An example is that of personal parishes established in accordance with the 7 July 2007 ''
motu proprio In law, ''motu proprio'' (Latin for "on his own impulse") describes an official act taken without a formal request from another Party (law), party. Some jurisdictions use the term ''sua sponte'' for the same concept. In Catholic canon law, it r ...
'' ''
Summorum Pontificum ''Summorum Pontificum'' (English language, English: "Of the Supreme Pontiffs") is an Ecclesiastical letter#Letters of the Popes in modern times, apostolic letter of Pope Benedict XVI, issued in July 2007. This letter specifies the circumstances i ...
'' for those attached to the pre-
Vatican II The Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, commonly known as the , or , was the 21st Catholic ecumenical councils, ecumenical council of the Roman Catholic Church. The council met in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome for four periods (or sessions) ...
liturgy.


See also

*
Parish church A parish church (or parochial church) in Christianity is the Church (building), church which acts as the religious centre of a parish. In many parts of the world, especially in rural areas, the parish church may play a significant role in co ...
* Parish pump *
Parish register A parish register in an ecclesiastical parish is a handwritten volume, normally kept in the parish church in which certain details of religious ceremonies marking major events such as baptisms (together with the dates and names of the parents), ma ...
s:
Birth certificate A birth certificate is a vital record that documents the Childbirth, birth of a person. The term "birth certificate" can refer to either the original document certifying the circumstances of the birth or to a certified copy of or representation of ...
,
Marriage certificate A marriage certificate (sometimes: marriage lines) is an official statement that two people are married Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock, is a culturally and often legally recognized union between people called spouses. ...
,
Death certificate A death certificate is either a legal document issued by a medical practitioner which states when a person died, or a document issued by a government civil registration office, that declares the date, location and cause of a person's death, a ...
*
Collegiate church In Christianity, a collegiate church is a Church (building), church where the daily office of worship is maintained by a college (canon law), college of canon (priest), canons: a non-monastic or secular clergy, "secular" community of clergy, organis ...
* Priory church *
Cathedral A cathedral is a church (building), church that contains the ''cathedra'' () of a bishop, thus serving as the central church of a diocese, Annual conferences within Methodism, conference, or episcopate. Churches with the function of "cathedral ...
*
Parochial school A parochial school is a private primary or secondary school affiliated with a religious organization, and whose curriculum includes general religious education in addition to secular subjects, such as science, mathematics Mathematics is an ...


References


Citations


Sources

* Sidney Webb, Beatrice Potter. ''English Local Government from the Revolution to the Municipal Corporations.'' London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1906 * James Barry Bird. ''The laws respecting parish matters: containing the several offices and duties of churchwardens, overseers of the poor, constables, watchmen, and other parish officers : the laws concerning rates and assessments, settlements and removals of the poor, and of the poor in general.'' Publisher W. Clarke, 1799


Further reading

*Hart, A. Tindal (1959) ''The Country Priest in English History''. London: Phoenix House *--do.-- (1958) ''The Country Clergy in Elizabethan & Stuart Times, 1558-1660''. London: Phoenix House *--do.-- (1955) ''The Eighteenth Century Country Parson, circa 1689 to 1830'', Shrewsbury: Wilding & Son *--do.-- & Carpenter, E. F. (1954) ''The Nineteenth Century Country Parson; circa 1832-1900''. Shrewsbury: Wilding & Son


External links


''Crockford's Clerical Directory''

In praise of ... civil parishes
Editorial in ''The Guardian'', 2011-05-16. {{Authority control Christian terminology Anglican organizations
Parishes A parish is a territorial entity in many Christianity, Christian denominations, constituting a division within a diocese. A parish is under the pastoral care and clerical jurisdiction of a priest#Christianity, priest, often termed a parish priest ...