An exploration into the role and importance of the church in a modern rural community: a case study

Bloom, Katherine (2007) An exploration into the role and importance of the church in a modern rural community: a case study. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Despite its importance to the rural idyll, the rural church is often overlooked by rural geographers who, in examining the rural idyll, prefer to explore other aspects such as its creation and reproduction or to test the validity of its statements of community. This study examines the attitudes and opinions of various stakeholder groups (in the rural community of Debenham, Suffolk), of the church, its role, uses and status as a symbol of the village. Intensive qualitative research was undertaken in the village using existing groups to form focus groups and to provide interviews. The sense of community in the village was found to be strong (although fading) and centred around neighbourliness and friendliness. The role of the church was thought to be one of community building and bringing together, as the assumption of the rural idyll. However, it was discovered that the church was believed not to be fulfilling this role in the case of Debenham for a variety of reasons. Furthermore, it was discovered that those who attended church services saw the church as a symbol of the village, and those who did not attend did not see it in this way. This work should lead to further examination of the church in rural areas as there are still several gaps in knowledge of this area, the research design could be mirrored for studies in other areas to better increase understanding.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Department of Geography
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:48
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:14

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