Crisis, Challenge, and Consolidation: A Study of the Anglican Church in a Rural Welsh Parish 1700-1900

Davies, Richard (2021) Crisis, Challenge, and Consolidation: A Study of the Anglican Church in a Rural Welsh Parish 1700-1900. Masters thesis, University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

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In a year when the Church in Wales is commemorating the centenary of Disestablishment, it encourages a priest in that Church to study the history of the parish in which he serves. In my case, it is the parish of Little Newcastle in rural, Welsh speaking north Pembrokeshire, but I must declare a vested interest, because the parish is one with which the family has had a very long connection. But, hopefully, laying bias and personal connections aside, one can also justifiably ask the questions as to what was the real state of rural Anglicanism in the eighteenth and nineteenth century Wales and are the, often, sweeping generalizations made about the religious life of the nation during this period actually reflected in the life of a particular parish? Were all parts of Welsh Wales overwhelmingly Nonconformist, largely due to an indolent and vice-ridden alien institution, which many labelled ‘the Church of England in Wales’, or was that very same Church alive and very active, at least in some parishes.In an undated pamphlet, written on behalf of the Pembrokeshire Local History Society, by Sir Frederick Rees and entitled, ‘The Appeal of Local History in Pembrokeshire’ he states, ‘Here local studies are of the greatest value. Historical interpretation is simply the presentation of generalizations which are provisionally acceptable. With the advance of knowledge those generalizations nearly always need to be qualified’. It is my purpose to embark on a local study, i.e. a study of the Anglican church in the parish of Little Newcastle, inquire whether enough primary and secondary evidence exists to challenge the provisionally accepted generalizations about the religious condition of Welsh parishes and hope, at least in a small way, to qualify the generalization.For this to take place there will be a need to peruse the traditional opinions about the state of the church and then peruse the latest academic views on the topic to establish whether a change of opinion has taken place. But from the macro to the micro, the next chapter will examine the eighteenth-century inheritance of the parish with the woes and beatitudes of the church unveiled. The nineteenth century position will be examined from two, hopefully, inter-locking chapters: the first will examine the strengths and weaknesses of the principal Nonconformist denomination in the parish, i.e. the Baptists, whilst the second 4 will repeat the exercise for the Anglican Church. A concluding chapter will chronicle the findings.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Church in Wales, Anglicanism
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
D History General and Old World > D History (General)
Divisions: Theses and Dissertations > Masters Dissertations
Depositing User: Natalie Williams
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2022 09:24
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2022 09:57

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