Religion in Gosforth, 1951-2011: A Sociology Classic Revisited

Steve Bruce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In The Sociology of an English Village: Gosforth, W. M. Williams described the religious life of rural Cumbria in the early 1950s. This research updates that study. Data on various indices of church and chapel involvement show the disappearance of communal conformity to the Church and increased commitment from the smaller core of committed members. The changed status of the Church is discussed as is its continuing role as occasional representative of the parish at large.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-49
Number of pages11
JournalRural Theology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 2013

Bibliographical note

From 2007 to 2009 I was in receipt of a senior research fellowship from the
Leverhulme Trust. I am grateful to the Trust and to the University of Aberdeen for
supporting my work. I am also grateful to the staff of the Carlisle and Whitehaven
Record Offices and to the large number of Gosforth people who assisted me with
my research.


  • Anglican Church
  • community
  • deference
  • church adherance


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