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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Combe Martin parish church (St Peter ad Vincula), North Devon, England.
The parish church of Saint Lawrence at Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire, England.

A parish church, in Christianity, is the church which acts as the religious centre of a parish, the basic administrative unit of episcopal churches.

In many parts of the world, especially in rural areas, the parish church is fundamental to the life of the community.

The church building reflects this status, and there is considerable variety in the size and style of parish churches. Many villages in Europe have churches that date back to the Middle Ages, but all periods of architecture are represented.

Nearly every part of England is in a parish, and most parishes have a parish church, which is consecrated. If there is no parish church, the bishop licenses another building for worship, and may designate it as a Parish Centre of Worship, a building which is not consecrated, but dedicated, and for most legal purposes it is deemed to be a parish church.[1]

The Church of Scotland, an established Presbyterian church, also uses a system of parish churches, covering the whole of Scotland.

See also



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