Accessibility statement

Parish & Community - CED00027M

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  • Department: Centre for Lifelong Learning
  • Module co-ordinator: Information currently unavailable
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2020-21

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2020-21

Module aims

This core module studies the relationship between clergy, congregations, parish communities and wider society, principally in the medieval and early modern period but with reference to continuity into later periods.

  • Explore the nature and priorities of the intersecting communities which operated in a parish.
  • Consider the changing role of the church within a community as expressed through the activities of clergy and church officials.
  • Discuss the hierarchy within congregations and their differing roles within parish life and religious observance and practice
  • Consider the response to and management of dissent.
  • Examine the evolution of the concept of a ‘parish’ and the varying social and cultural structures  inherent in that understanding.

Module learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the module students will have a knowledge and understanding of:

  • The development of parishes as social and administrative units
  • The interrelationship between the geographical and religious entities
  • The emergence of the roles of clergy and laity in the operation of the parish unit in its various guises
  • The tensions inherent in the parish system
  • The sources available for such study and how to utilise and interrogate them.

Academic and graduate skills

  • Be able to use primary archival material to study a locality
  • Able to employ a variety of sources both documentary and physical to construct a series of narratives
  • Employ interdisciplinary approaches to interpreting evidence.


Task Length % of module mark
4000 word study
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
4000 word study
N/A 100

Module feedback

The tutor will give regular individual verbal and written feedback throughout the module on work submitted.

The assessment feedback is as per the university’s guidelines with regard to timings.

Indicative reading

  • Burgess, C. and Duffy, E. eds. The Parish in Late Medieval England: Proceedings of the 2002 Harlaxton Symposium. Harlaxton Medieval Studies Volume XIV. Donington, Lincolnshire: Shaun Tyas, 2006.
  • Cross, C. Church and People, 1450-1660: The Triumph of the Laity in the English Church. London: Fontana, 1976.
  • Duffy, E. The Voices of Morebath: Reformation And Rebellion in an English Village. New Haven, London: Yale, 2003.
  • Dyas, D. ed. The English Parish Church Through the Centuries: Daily Life and Spirituality, Art and Architecture, Literature and Music. York: Christianity and Culture at the University of York, 2010.
  • Heath, P. English Parish Clergy on the Eve of the Reformation. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1969.
  • Shinners, J. and Dohar, W. eds. Pastors and the Care of Souls in Medieval England. Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1998.
  • Strong, R. A Little History of the English Country Church. London: Jonathan Cape, 2007.
  • Wilson, A.N. ed. The Faber Book of Church and Clergy. London: Faber and Faber, 1993.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses

The 2020/21 academic year will start in September. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.

Find details of the measures we're planning to protect our community.

Course changes for new students