The Company of Preachers - religion after the Reformation

Ref: C2226795

While East Anglia has a wealth of medieval churches, their interiors owe more to post-Reformation beliefs and practices. Chapels 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 religious practice and experience 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 religious practice of Parson Woodforde and 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 Victorian England, and the re-establishment of Catholicism.

Additional information about this course

Half term 23/10/2019

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?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • This course is aimed at anyone who is interested in history with a local emphasis.

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

  • identify relevant historical events which impacted on East Anglians during this period
  • examine and analyse source materials relating to the Church of England and Methodism in the 18th century and draw conclusions from them
  • participate in group discussions on the material evidence of changes to the interiors and furnishings of churches and chapels
  • examine new materials and use the evidence to draw reasoned conclusions
  • explain a reasoned analysis of the position of Catholics in East Anglia throughout the period

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • All materials will be provided

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • Students will be given a suggested book list, and a copy will be forwarded to the branch so that books can be made available to the group via the local library

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Undertake individual research, or join a local group or society undertaking a local history project. Interest in using original materials might encourage you to undertake a course in palaeography.

Download full course information sheet

The Company of Preachers - religion after the Reformation


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • 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 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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