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’
    • ‘They worry over the fact that their parish now has one priest though it formerly had three.’
    • ‘In the mainline churches, certain parishes have refused pastoral care to victims and their families.’
    • ‘Evangelicals claim to contribute more than 40% of the £400 million raised for the church by parishes each year.’
    • ‘Each diocese was then divided into parishes, with each parish containing just one 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.’
    • ‘Conservative Protestant churches and Catholic parishes have done better - 8 and 20 percent respectively.’
    • ‘The dissident priests and parishes are opposed to the church's blessing of same-sex unions.’
    • ‘We should pray for renewal explicitly, as individuals, small Christian communities, parishes, and dioceses.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Pastors have seen entire parishes change simply by teaching their people to give their lives to Jesus each morning and each night.’
    • ‘Readings and Prayers of the Faithful were done by parishioners from all churches in the parish.’
    • ‘In fact, many, many Catholic women who are devout and active in their parishes think church leaders hate women, and they respond in kind.’
    • ‘The conference sought support for the creation of a new network of parishes within the church.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘For the past twelve years, I served as the pastor of a large parish in the heart of Chicago.’
    • ‘The report accuses the church of allowing white parishes and parishioners to be favoured at the expense of their black brothers and sisters.’
    • ‘‘It was news to the pastors in the parishes,’ Shea remembers.’
    • ‘Still, when properly led by a personally secure, sensitive, and open pastor, parishes generate levels of enthusiasm and commitment seldom matched in human community.’
    parishioners, churchgoers, church, congregation, flock, fold, community
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1US (in Louisiana) a territorial division corresponding to a county in other states.
      • ‘Alford provided a listing of floristic surveys for counties in Mississippi and parishes in Louisiana.’
      • ‘There are nearly 4,500 registered sex offenders living in the 14 Louisiana parishes hit by Katrina.’
      • ‘But you have to understand, inside the parishes of Louisiana, most of those city governments were victims.’
      • ‘I know that some of the folks in outlying parishes here in Louisiana are wondering whether or not people are paying attention to them.’
      • ‘These parishes have the highest numbers of broilers 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.’
      • ‘The stores were locate throughout 18 of the 36 Delta counties or parishes in the 3-state partnership.’
      • ‘More than 12 million people live in the 125 counties and parishes that border the Mississippi.’
      • ‘I know much of the country is focused on New Orleans, Louisiana, but parishes outside of New Orleans have been ruined.’
      • ‘And by the way, our viewers should know that parishes are the equivalent of counties in the other 49 states.’
      • ‘We've had new evacuations for some of the southern parishes in Louisiana.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The species is reported in east central Arkansas and in several parishes of northern Louisiana.’
      • ‘Further work is needed to document its presence or absence in most northern Louisiana parishes, although it to be expected infrequently in that region.’


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.