Parish council

From Academic Kids

A parish council is a council of members of a particular parish or religious community who have a responsibility to administrate the affairs of that community.

American Catholic parish councils

In American Catholic parishes, the parish council arose after Vatican II in the new era of lay participation in parish decision making.

Parish councils (in contrast to Pastoral Council) are bureaucratically structured decision making bodies that work closely with the Pastor and his paid staff. Typically, parish council members hold elected offices (such as President, Vice President, Treasurer, etc.). They meet on a regular basis and oversee such parish matters as the annual plan, schedule and budget, capital improvements, and the like.

Other groups operating within a parish, such as ministries and societies, may make reports to the parish council, and may seek support (e.g. funding) from the parish council.

UK parish councils

Main article: Local government in the United Kingdom, Civil parish

In England parish councils were formed as part of the feudal system in the 11th century to oversee the welfare and civic duties of a town or village. Many parish councils are still in place today, particularly in rural communities.

A distinction is made between the ecclesiastical parish council and the civil parish council. The former is founded on the traditional basis of looking after the welfare of a particular religious community; the latter is a particular settlement and is not linked to a church.

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