The costs of pew-renting: church management, church-going and social class in nineteenth-century Glasgow

Brown, C.G. (1987) The costs of pew-renting: church management, church-going and social class in nineteenth-century Glasgow. Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 38(3), pp. 347-361. (doi:10.1017/S0022046900024957)

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Abstract

The letting of pews was virtually a universal practice in the churches of nineteenth-century Britain. Although letting and private ownership of seats were well known before the 1700s and have continued in the present century, the renting of fixed seats for use during divine service reached its height in the Victorian period. Worshippers paid anything from one shilling to thirty shillings or more to reserve a seat for one person for a year. It thus became a considerable expense to accommodate a large family. By its ubiquity it is clear that the practice was accepted by church-goers as a facet of ecclesiastical life and was accepted by church authorities as a necessary feature of congregational management. But the fact that the system was generally introduced and operated at the discretion of individual congregations or their owners and patrons, with little or no interference from denominational authorities, has meant that comparatively meagre attention has been paid to how it worked in practice and to what its effects were on congregational life.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Brown, Professor Callum
Authors: Brown, C.G.
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > History
Journal Name:Journal of Ecclesiastical History
ISSN:0022-0469
ISSN (Online):1469-7637
Published Online:25 March 2011

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