Going to Church in Medieval England

Nicholas Orme

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Parish churches were at the heart of English religious and social life in the Middle Ages and the sixteenth century. In this comprehensive study, Nicholas Orme shows how they came into existence, who staffed them, and how their buildings were used. He explains who went to church, who did not attend, how people behaved there, and how they – not merely the clergy – affected how worship was staged.

The book provides an accessible account of what happened in the daily and weekly services, and how churches marked the seasons of Christmas, Lent, Easter, and summer. It describes how they celebrated the great events of life: birth, coming of age, and marriage, and gave comfort in sickness and death. A final chapter covers the English Reformation in the sixteenth century, and shows how, alongside its changes, much that went on in parish churches remained as before.

Nicholas Orme is Emeritus Professor of History at Exeter University. He has written over thirty books on the religious and social history of England, including Medieval Children, Medieval Schools, Medieval Pilgrimage, and The History of England’s Cathedrals.

ISBN: 9780300256505
Publication Date: August 31, 2021
496 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
51 color illus. + 8 maps
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