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.
Parish is also a geographical subdivision used in several parts of the world, such as:
- Antigua and Barbuda, West Indies
- Barbados, West Indies
- Dominica, West Indies
- England, see Local government in England
- Grenada, West Indies
- Jamaica, West Indies
- Louisiana, United States, see List of Louisiana parishes
- Montserrat, West Indies
- New South Wales, Australia, see Local Government Areas of New South Wales
- Saint Kitts and Nevis, West Indies
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, West Indies
It originated as a religious subdivision, but over time has come to be a purely civil one.