A place to belong? The changing place of Church in rural life.

Evans, Andrew (2018) A place to belong? The changing place of Church in rural life. Masters thesis, University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

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Abstract

Many church buildings are finding a new lease of life as multi‐functional public spaces. Alongside their traditional role as places of worship, ‘sacred space’ is being opened‐up to new purposes by local communities and therefore to a reinterpretation of ‘place’. Consequently, in a diverse and plural society, such places may come to mean different things to different people. Viewed from the multiple perspectives of those who encounter their parish church in different ways, this short ethnographic case study explores the process of belonging within a hermeneutic framework. By listening to people talk about their emplaced experiences, I examine how place‐related meanings and identities interact to construct participant’s sense of place. The analysis of the narratives offered by participants brings into sharp focus important themes of authenticity, alterity, continuity and change in rural life. I argue that the inevitable tensions aroused by the multivocality of place must be expressed in a ‘dialogic space’ of mutual recognition. Through conversation and story‐telling, discursive differences can be harmonised in new, creative understandings of ‘place’ as an ongoing story. It is not without its challenges. But this ethnographic study of ‘placeness’ and place‐making suggests a bright future can be secured for multi‐purposed church‐buildings at the heart of rural village.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Divisions: Theses and Dissertations > Masters Dissertations
Depositing User: Lesley Cresswell
Date Deposited: 18 Jun 2021 14:44
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2021 15:13
URI: https://repository.uwtsd.ac.uk/id/eprint/1706

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