Benefices and parishes

Benefices and parishes

What is a Benefice?

Historically this is the living itself - an ecclesiastical office held by a priest (the incumbent) for which a stipend (salary of sorts) is paid.

Today, a benefice will comprise one or more parishes that are served by a priest.

What is a Parish?

A parish is an area within the diocese comprising all those who live within it, whether or not they are religious. The word parish is used both in this sense and in the sense of those who see themselves as belonging to the local church. There are over 300 parishes in the Diocese of Ely.

A parish will have its own church building or buildings and is under the authority of a Rector, Vicar or Priest-in-Charge. Such clergy people are responsible for anyone who lives within the parish.

More details about individual parishes is available on their own parish websites. Many of our churches are also registering their parish information on the A Church Near You website and found via the find a church options on this website.


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Page last updated: 2nd August 2019 1:59 PM
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Ely Diocesan Board of Finance is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales with company number 142183, and a charity registered in England and Wales with Charity Number 245456. The registered address is: Diocesan Office, Bishop Woodford House, Barton Road, Ely, Cambridgeshire CB7 4DX. All rights reserved.