The Company of Preachers

Ref: C2228492

While East Anglia has a wealth of medieval churches, their interiors owe more to post-Reformation beliefs and practices. Chapels, too, are a significant feature of our villages and towns. In order to understand both the buildings and the beliefs and practices of those who built and used them, we use a variety of sources and material evidence to study practices and experiences from the establishment of the Church of England and its conflicts with Puritans and Recusants, and follow developments through the turbulent 17th century with the founding of independent chapels and non-conformist sects. In the 18th century we contrast the restrained approach of Parson Woodforde with the 'enthusiasm of Wesley and the Methodists, and we consider the political and social developments that led to the Evangelical and Anglo-Catholic movements of the Victorian Church of England, and the re-establishment of Catholicism.

Course aim

This course looks at religious change from 1550 to the 20th century. Debates and controversies are demonstrated in the design of churches, the diversity of religious practice and experience, and their impact on the lives of ordinary East Anglians.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for those who are interested in aspects of history with a local emphasis. No skills or prior experience are needed.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Identify relevant historical events which impacted on East Anglian religion during this period
  • Examine and analyse source materials relating to the Church of England and Methodism in the 18th century
  • Be able to share in discussion on the material evidence of changes to the interiors and furnishings of churches and chapels
  • apply your knowledge to new materials and use the evidence to draw reasoned conclusions
  • develop a reasoned analysis of the position of Catholics in East Anglia during the period from 1550 to 1914

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

No materials are required. Course sheets will be provided.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

The Company of Preachers


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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