Definition of parish in English:



  • 1(in the Christian Church) a small administrative district typically having its own church and a priest or pastor.

    as modifier ‘a parish church’
    • ‘The bishops should also seriously consider individual school boards in parishes where pastors do not have the time or the interest to commit to the local school.’
    • ‘Pastors have seen entire parishes change simply by teaching their people to give their lives to Jesus each morning and each night.’
    • ‘For the past twelve years, I served as the pastor of a large parish in the heart of Chicago.’
    • ‘Still, when properly led by a personally secure, sensitive, and open pastor, parishes generate levels of enthusiasm and commitment seldom matched in human community.’
    • ‘The conference sought support for the creation of a new network of parishes within the church.’
    • ‘In fact, many, many Catholic women who are devout and active in their parishes think church leaders hate women, and they respond in kind.’
    • ‘Many of these lay candidates are already deeply involved in church ministry: in parishes, on diocesan staffs, as chaplains on campuses, in hospitals, and in jails.’
    • ‘Evangelicals claim to contribute more than 40% of the £400 million raised for the church by parishes each year.’
    • ‘The report accuses the church of allowing white parishes and parishioners to be favoured at the expense of their black brothers and sisters.’
    • ‘The dissident priests and parishes are opposed to the church's blessing of same-sex unions.’
    • ‘In the mainline churches, certain parishes have refused pastoral care to victims and their families.’
    • ‘They worry over the fact that their parish now has one priest though it formerly had three.’
    • ‘The duties of the post include regular meetings of the clergy of the 12 parishes in the deanery and advising and helping churchwardens of parishes without a parish priest.’
    • ‘Readings and Prayers of the Faithful were done by parishioners from all churches in the parish.’
    • ‘‘It was news to the pastors in the parishes,’ Shea remembers.’
    • ‘Conservative Protestant churches and Catholic parishes have done better - 8 and 20 percent respectively.’
    • ‘Six Colorado parishes have left the church to join the Anglican Mission in America, the organization headed by the two bishops ordained in Singapore.’
    • ‘The closing and merging of parishes also offer church leaders the opportunity to rethink how best to minister to Catholics.’
    • ‘Each diocese was then divided into parishes, with each parish containing just one church.’
    • ‘We should pray for renewal explicitly, as individuals, small Christian communities, parishes, and dioceses.’
    parishioners, churchgoers, church, congregation, flock, fold, community
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1British The smallest unit of local government, constituted only in rural areas.
      as modifier ‘a parish councillor’
      • ‘Controversy surrounds the spelling of a rural parish's name after a new sign left some scratching their heads.’
      • ‘Some rural parishes might be of the opinion that that situation already exists.’
      • ‘We hope this service will help unite the local parishes into a cohesive unit speaking with one voice, something that is sadly lacking over the years.’
      • ‘Euro opponents are being urged to force local votes in parishes or towns on the issue by the Campaign Alliance for Referendums in Parishes.’
      • ‘The children were drawn from the other parishes in the area, not just Harvington itself, and organisers were pleased to see how quickly they all adapted to, and worked with, each other.’
      • ‘In the years since she has kept away from local politics, save appearances as a Leven parish councillor.’
      • ‘Ryther parish councillor Malcolm Fisher said the village badly needed a pumping station on the floodbank.’
      • ‘Hurling supporters in neighbouring parishes are scouring local GAA officials in the hope of getting a ticket to the September 12 Final.’
      • ‘It does not take a mathematical genius to realise that there is not enough room in Swindon for this scale of development and so it must go outwards into the green areas around Swindon and also into all the neighbouring towns and parishes.’
      • ‘The great majority inhabited 40,000 rural communities or parishes with an average of about 600 residents.’
      • ‘Roy has been actively involved in the community for a long time, having been a parish councillor for 53 years.’
      • ‘The Marlborough community area comprises 26 parishes in the north east of the Kennet district.’
      • ‘Over £16,000 has been awarded over the next two years to take roadshows to the rural parishes and islands to engage older people in activities to benefit their health and well-being.’
      • ‘He is supporting rural parishes and helping others to understand and help the present farming crisis.’
      • ‘I was a townie and it shows me getting to know rural parishes.’
      • ‘There's a strange phenomenon taking place in sizeable town parishes in rural Ireland.’
      • ‘Covering 3,000 miles and nine states in eight days, the probing biker figured there could be useful lessons to be learned for his role representing the sprawling rural parishes of Whinfell.’
      • ‘Kilgobinet is just part of a rural parish a few miles out the road from town.’
      • ‘Several parishes within the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty have expressed an interest in having a modern version of the lengthsman working in their areas.’
      • ‘It is a shame that our parish councillors are so unaware of the development of the communities they represent.’
      district, community
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2US (in Louisiana) a territorial division corresponding to a county in other states.
      • ‘More than 12 million people live in the 125 counties and parishes that border the Mississippi.’
      • ‘These parishes have the highest numbers of broilers in Louisiana.’
      • ‘There are nearly 4,500 registered sex offenders living in the 14 Louisiana parishes hit by Katrina.’
      • ‘I know much of the country is focused on New Orleans, Louisiana, but parishes outside of New Orleans have been ruined.’
      • ‘The species is reported in east central Arkansas and in several parishes of northern Louisiana.’
      • ‘And by the way, our viewers should know that parishes are the equivalent of counties in the other 49 states.’
      • ‘I know that some of the folks in outlying parishes here in Louisiana are wondering whether or not people are paying attention to them.’
      • ‘Further work is needed to document its presence or absence in most northern Louisiana parishes, although it to be expected infrequently in that region.’
      • ‘Alford provided a listing of floristic surveys for counties in Mississippi and parishes in Louisiana.’
      • ‘But you have to understand, inside the parishes of Louisiana, most of those city governments were victims.’
      • ‘The stores were locate throughout 18 of the 36 Delta counties or parishes in the 3-state partnership.’
      • ‘We've had new evacuations for some of the southern parishes in Louisiana.’
      • ‘Jacques Berry of Thibodaux, Louisiana reports that Pedro is extremely popular in Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes in southern Louisiana, almost to the exclusion of other card games.’
      • ‘As had always been the case, the authority to decide who would or would not receive aid lay with the most powerful people in Louisiana's towns and parishes.’


Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French and Old French paroche, from late Latin parochia, from Greek paroikia ‘sojourning’, based on para- ‘beside, subsidiary’ + oikos ‘dwelling’.