This book investigates the part that Anglicanism played in the lives of lay people in England and Wales between 1689 and 1750. It is concerned with what they did rather than what they believed, and explores their attitudes to clergy, religious activities, personal morality and charitable giving. Using diaries, letters, account books, newspapers and popular publications and parish and diocesan records, Dr Jacob demonstrates that Anglicanism held the allegiance of a significant proportion of all people. They took the lead in managing the affairs of the parishes, which were the major focus of communal and social life, and supported the spiritual and moral discipline of the church courts. He shows that early eighteenth-century England and Wales remained a largely traditional society and that Methodism emerged from a strong church, which was central to the lives of most people.
' ... admirably researched ... the narrative flows smoothly, painting a picture of an age not so much of religious apathy as of comparative faith.' Bernard Palmer, Church Times 'This book is a worthy contribution to scholarship.' Epworth Review