Building on Church History: The Church in London
The Diocese of London Lambeth Palace Library King's College London The Open University

Resource Guide: historical themes in the Diocese of London

Print version [PDF 15KB]

This guide will introduce some of the main themes in the modern history of the Diocese of London and suggest ways in which you can explore and write about them. While the material here relates particularly to the Church of England, its relevance goes beyond Anglican parishes and it gives potentially important insights into London 's wider religious and social history. It will, for example, show how congregations in the diocese interacted with London 's rich and diverse local multicultural, multi-denominational and multi-faith communities.

You will find that many of the issues and themes discussed in the guide seem highly relevant in the contemporary context: there are remarkable comparisons between some of the social challenges and issues faced by the Diocese of London in the nineteenth century and those apparent in the metropolis today.

This guide will be of particular interest to four main groups of people:

Church leaders, ordinands and congregation members

The guide will enable you to think about long term historical themes and inform perspectives on mission and ministry in the present. If you are an Anglican you should also read through our parish History Audit section.

Local and parish historians

Whether you are experienced or a complete beginner we hope this guide will offer insights into the historical themes and issues relating to the history of both Anglican churches/congregations and also the religious life of local communities. You should also visit our How to Write a Church and Parish History pages.

Local community leaders and groups

While the current focus of this guide is the Church of England, it will describe how research can show how historically and contemporarily religion has been an important aspect in the live of local communities. As the project develops and grows we hope this guide will help you think through questions relating to religion, community and social cohesion. You will also find useful ideas in our How to Write a Church and Parish History and History Audit pages.

Academic Researchers

This guide will be a valuable resource for academic researchers investigating the Church of England in London and broader themes in religious history (see also How to Write a Church and Parish History pages).


Please follow the links below to find out more about themes:


Church, Community and Society

Family History


The Bishops and Diocese of London

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