By N. J. G. Pounds
So much writings on church background were involved quite often with church hierarchy, and with theology, liturgy and canon legislation. This publication appears to be like on the church ''from below,'' from the bottom stratum of its organization--the parish--in which the church construction is noticeable because the parishioners' handiwork, and as a mirrored image of neighborhood pop culture. The booklet discusses in flip the starting place and improvement of parishes, their functionality, and the church cloth that embodied the aspirations of parishioners.
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Extra info for A History of the English Parish: The Culture of Religion from Augustine to Victoria
During the Middle Ages there were in England alone some , parishes, but their number must remain uncertain for any period before the seventeenth or eighteenth century. Their geographical pattern was ﬂuid, as large parishes broke up and smaller and poorer merged with their neighbours. In origin the parish was a unit of ecclesiastical administration and pastoral care. It was an area large enough in population and resources to support a church and its priest, and yet small enough for its parishioners to gather at its focal church.
With the enclosure both of the open ﬁelds and of the common land and the leasing of the demesne, its regulatory functions were no longer needed. At the same time the administration of justice passed to the gentry from whom the Justices of the Peace were chosen. The role of the parish was at its most important from the sixteenth century to the eighteenth in keeping order, relieving distress, settling disputes and maintaining an infrastructure without which society could not easily have functioned.
E. 8 Yet even as late as the early nineteenth century there remained areas, small but nonetheless numerous, which had escaped the parochial net, and in doing so had remained outside the civil and ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the country. The abstract of census statistics of claimed that there were over such ‘extra-parochial’ places. Some had been the sites of royal palaces or of castles in the jurisdiction of the sheriﬀ and thus beyond that of parish oﬃcers. Such were the castles of Bristol, Chester and Norwich.