Chapter

The Puritan Parish

Bernard Capp

in England's Culture Wars

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199641789
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191744228 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199641789.003.0006
The Puritan Parish

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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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This chapter examines the character, work, and achievements of the interregnum church. It surveys the structural, personal, and pastoral problems facing the parish clergy, and their disputes with ejected ‘Anglicans’ and sectarian rivals. It examines the nature of church services following the suppression of the prayer-book, and the role of sermons, psalm-singing, and catechizing, as well as the precarious survival of some traditional services. Finally it examines the fierce controversies over access to the sacraments: should all respectable people be able to receive communion, or only the godly? This heated issue led to a wide range of local practices, all highly contentious, and communion services were often abandoned to escape such conflicts. The chapter ends with an assessment of the record of the puritan ministry during its brief period of dominance.

Keywords: puritans; parishes; church services; sacraments; ministry; prayer-book; Anglicans

Chapter.  11472 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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