• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The State of the Church before the Reformation

Extracts from this document...


The State of the Church before the Reformation Before the Reformation in England, the Catholic Church held a very powerful influence England. Historians have argued whether support for the church and the spirituality of the people would have resulted in a reform without Henry's personal reason to divorce. There are strong arguments on the power of the church being abused and not preaching its religions true doctrine. In 1512, John Colet, the Dean of St. Paul's preached a sermon to a meeting of the convocation of Canterbury, an assembly to discuss the need for a reform. He blamed the state of the church on the Clergy. In 1529 a pamphlet entitled, A Supplication for the beggars, was released around London. A lawyer and a Lutheran called Simon Fish wrote this. He suggested that the King himself act on the church. At the time, King Henry wrote his "Defence of the Seven Sacraments" in defence of the Catholic Church and against Luther's beliefs. ...read more.


This was seen as preposterous and something that a few people believed was not something that the church should make the people believe. The clergy were widely despised. At the top, Archbishops and Bishops were disliked for their wealth and ostentation with Wolsey being an obvious example. He was never seen without fine clothes and expensive jewellery and had several homes - Hampden Court being his prominent residence. This was in sharp contrast to the example set by Christ in the New Testament. They were further more seen as being guilty of pluralism and therefore non-residence as they were constantly moving between their dioceses. A Bishop was also obliged to attend Parliament, as he owed the service of counsel to the king, but not many attended regularly which would obviously anger a temperamental King, which when Henry VIII came to power was something that helped him come to a decision of reformation. Another grievance towards the Bishops was sexual irregularity with many Bishops seemingly ignoring their vow of chastity by having mistresses and illegitimate children. ...read more.


Many new Churches were built and most renovated to look new. This required a lot of money, something the people were willing to do for their local church. The best selling Books were of Catholic Literature, although many people could not read, it was still bought among the intellects that would have challenged the church (unless corrupt themselves). In Conclusion, The Church was seen as corrupt and wicked, but challenged by only a few. Many of the people saw the Church as the true path to God, although this majority would not have been very educated. There is little evidence of abuse of power, and it seems that reformation would only have been possible with Henry's need to divorce. However before the reformation, his state was weakened and always in need of money, something that the church had from the lands owned in England. With the removal of the church he would have been in a much more powerful position. The Church was and known to be corrupt, however this was most likely unknown to the majority of people who were uneducated and ignorant of the world around them. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Places of Worship section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Places of Worship essays

  1. English Reformation

    traced the birth of the Reformation have established cases of corruption and negligence among the clergy. Other contemporary evidence nevertheless can augment Haigh's views that actually there was no widespread desire for reform. At the time leading up to the Reformation, relationships between priests and parishioners were supposedly hostile.

  2. No need for counseling in the Church

    There is one more common occurrence that happens in a church counseling environment. People are often made to feel extremely guilty when the admit a area of trouble in their lives to the counseling pastor. Though this might not be done intentionally, the damage is done.

  1. Write an account of the Reformation and its effects on music. To what extent ...

    popularity, and in an attempt to remedy this, the Council of Trent was formed in 1545 to fix the problems within the church, including that of sacred music. They were mostly concerned with complicated polyphony obscuring words, which were often badly pronounced anyway, and the profanity of using secular music with the Divine words of the mass.

  2. Islamic studies coursework

    In Faisal Mosque it is a similar to the other mosques which have this access to the woman; it has got space for the women bit most of it is used to accommodate men who are the people who visit the mosque a little more then the females.

  1. Homosexuality and the Church.

    The next source providing such information was 'The Daily Telegraph (London) - July 11, 2003. This article from the Daily Telegraph was already a give-away even before reading, with a title, "You don't have to be a mad extremist to oppose Jeffrey John".

  2. St Germans Church in Cornwall

    It has two narrow side aisles, the north aisle being on a lower level with lean-to roofs and clerestory windows over them - and a Chancel. But either the original design there was afterwards pulled down after a change in design.

  1. Worship R.S. Coursework

    They do have a bible as in a Roman Catholic Church and they do believe that it is by far the greatest source of inspiration but unlike Roman Catholics they feel it is not the only one. They read it along with other books, old and new, which can help guide them in life.

  2. Mosque coursework

    The Jamaat Khana of the pulpit's view. In the Jamaat Khana there are carpets which have been laid down in rows facing the Qiblah (direction facing towards the house of Allah in Makkah). These carpets have been laid for the people who come to worship, as a means of comfort when kneeling or sitting.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work