Author(s): Anthea Jones
This book unravels the secrets and workings of the English parish and its effect on English society. There are 13,000 parishes in England, each with its parish church, covering the country in a network which gives identities to local communities. Two-thirds of English parishes are ancient, probably a thousand years old; one-third have been founded in the last 150 years, largely to meet the enormously increased numbers of people in big towns. One of the major themes of the book is the changing social status of the clergy from medieval times. The author also looks at the future of the parish, a long lasting survivor from another age that has done so much to shape the special characteristics of English villages and towns.