The English Church on the Eve of the Reformation


Key Words

Anti-Clericalism- Opposition to the Church, leading to reformation

Protestantism- Form of questioning of traditional religion, originated in Germany. About personal devotion and bible study; inner faith not external acts

Sacraments- Ceremonies with fixed actions/ words which bestow God's grace on participants

Chantry- A chapel/ alter in a Church where masses are sung for the souls of the dead

Purgatory- Place where souls of the dead undergo a limited amount of suffering in order to reach heaven pure

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Groundswell of Opposition

Dissent limited to small groups, especially in the South- East

The majority of people were just reluctant to the change

Decline in respect and enthusiasm- fall in number of new abbeys, priories and friaries built 

Elements of Hostility in the South- East

Less Enthusiastic in the South- east about things such as prayers and mass

Limited opposition was confined to the South- East

Criticism of pilrimage and most local communities accepting the rejection of images, suggests a lack of enthusiasm for images

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Support remained for the Church

Most people accepted the Pope's power

Support for reigious orders clearly survived

Preists and people were generally harmoneous

Support for parish churches remained high

Large numbers of churches and chapels built between 1490 and 1529 with significant donations provided by the public

Significant sums were left to the Church in parishoners' wills for the purpose of furnishing parish churches

Large percentages of people left money in their wills

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Support remained for the Church Continued...

Sacraments and rituals remained popular- high levels of people attended mass

Extensive amounts of expensive equiptment was required for mass, implied support for the ceremonies

'Unquestionably continued to attract substantial support'

continued foundation of Chantries to provide prayer and masses for the souls of the dead in their passage through purgatory 

Three-dimensional representations of God and the saints continued to be used as aids to prayer

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