Thursday, March 3, 2011

Wolverton's Ecclesiastical History - XII A Conclusion of Sorts

Let me bring this twelve part trawl through Church history to some sort of conclusion.

The earliest inhabitants in the Wolverton area met their spiritual need s through various pagan rites - of which we know very little. Once Christian conversion was complete people followed a uniform code, worhsipping one God through one religion and through one rite - in this case the Roman church.

There were reform movements in the 14th century but it was not until the 16th century Reformation that a break from the Roman Church became possible - and then it was either-or; peaceful co-existence between Christian sects seemed not to be possible. Only in the relatively more tolerant 18th century would society allow different Christian sects to practise side-by-side. Even then there were difficulties. When the early Baptists built themselves a Chapel in Fenny Stratford in 1707, the Lord of the manor was mightily offened and had the chapel torn down, which he was legally entitled to do since he was the law.

Even so, apart from the odd practitioner of the Jewish faith, who might have appeared in Wolverton or Stony Stratford from time to time, Wolverton, like most other parts of England was almost universally Christian.

In the later part of the 20th century this began to change and practitioners of separate religions entirely began to populate the country. Wolverton was no exception and adherents to the Islamic faith have adapted the old General Post Office as a Mosque.

So it's obviously not the end of the story and I assume there will be many changes in the future. What these will be we cannot know.

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