TUDOR, DAVID,ST,CLAIR (2022) A consideration of the current view and history of the people of Canvey Island, Essex, in the context of modern England with regard to the place of the church in community particularly in the face of bereavement and the conduct of funeral rites. Masters thesis, Durham University.
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This study is the result of six years of part-time research by a practising Church of England minister. It focusses on the people of Canvey Island in Essex from the early 20th century when the church held sway over every aspect of their lives, to the present day when engagement with the church is one option of many. The study seeks to show how and why many who belong to no church congregation still call on the church at a time of bereavement and how the church might better recognise and sanctify the language and practice of those who would not call themselves religious.
The thesis explores the many-faceted and often contradictory contextual issues of contemporary ministry with particular focus on the whole gamut of funeral ministry from miscarriage and neo-natal death to a death occurring naturally in old age. It examines the relationship between the intrinsic and the vernacular on the one hand and the language of the established church on the other. It recognises the so-called folk religion as the basic longing of humanity for meaning and order in a chaotic and seemingly random life: a longing which the church has largely adopted, organised, formalised, institutionalised and often fossilized. It considers how such desire is met by Civil celebrants and others if church ministers are slow to respond to the need.
In this third decade of the twenty-first century, society is at a crucial crossroad with regard to the way in which we handle death, grief and an understanding of on-going life which survives the physical. A society increasingly at home with the connectedness of everything through the internet requires a church that understands and recognises its language and its longing. This thesis repeatedly addresses the ways that the church and its ministers need to embrace its changing role, particularly at the time of death.
The author’s upbringing in the British West Indies is very different from that of the people of Canvey Island. In distilling the fruit of twenty-four years of ministry among them, he has sought to use readily intelligible language to tell the stories of the dying and the bereaved and to bring to bear academic studies from the fields of sociology, anthropology and theology in the context and light of the lived experience of parish life.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Masters)|
|Award:||Master of Arts|
|Keywords:||Canvey Island, Bereavement, Funeral Ministry, Community|
|Faculty and Department:||Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Theology and Religion, Department of|
|Copyright:||Copyright of this thesis is held by the author|
|Deposited On:||21 Oct 2022 09:07|