Ecclesiastical Parish (England)

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Ecclesiastical parishes originated in the Medieval period, when the tithe or teind (a proportion of the annual produce or income) was paid by the parish inhabitants to support the Church. These units were distinguished from the Civil Parishes after 1597 with the passing of the first Poor Relief Act. This Act also led to many subordinate areas, such as chapelries, being raised to parochial rank and the creation of many new parishes.