• 596: Missionaries arrived in England and tried to convert the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity.• 650: Most of England claims to be Christian, but many hold on to their pagan beliefs.• The church affected every part of life.
• The church leaders were involved in politics through which they gained immense power over the people.• The church imposed „taxes‟ or tithes on its members. • Because the church was under the power and law of God, its members followed its laws closely. Breaking a law could result in punishment or expulsion from the church. • Tithes were usually paid with goods instead of money, and they were used to fund the church and give to the poor.
• Leaders of the church portrayed certain scriptures from the Bible to be degrading to women by taking them out of context.• Woman could work in the church as nuns • They did manual labor and chores • Some nuns from wealthier backgrounds were given lighter chores
• Preached that God, Heaven, and Hell all existed• Taught that the way to Heaven was through the church• People had to pay for baptisms, marriages, and burials• They paid 10% of what was earned each year to the church (tithes) • People were taught that if they did not pay their 10% they would burn in Hell
• Many leaders in the church did not follow the rules that were expected of them.• Some priests were illiterate and did not know how to perform many of the services. Many engaged in marriages and other relations although their laws forbid it.
• One major conflict between the church and the government (1162): • King Henry II attempted to impose royal laws over the church. Thomas á Becket, archbishop of Canterbury, opposed these laws and was enraged that the king was forcing them upon him and the church. Some of his words or rage were taken literally, and he was murdered by four of the kings knights. He was murdered while praying in Canterbury Cathedral. The shocked community built a shrine in the church, to which many Roman Catholics were encouraged to make a pilgrimage.
• It was believed that the more elaborate the architecture of a church, the more they were praising God.• Medieval churches are well made, because they employed skilled workers to build them instead of peasants.• Gothic was the main architectural style.• Stained glass windows were small but were used to tell stories from the Bible.