Key Stage 3 History: Medieval Life 8: The Role of the Church

In blog 8 of our Key Stage 3 History series we look at the role of the medieval church.

The Role of the Church

I’m all flustered! I’m flapping around like a headless chicken and achieving nothing! It’s Sunday morning. That means all of us have to be going to church and no one is ready. My husband is complaining his head hurts too much (serves him right for spending last night in the tavern!!!) and the children are complaining they are too tired (serves them right for playing so long last night!). But we all have to go and they aren’t moving!

Everything in the village revolves around the church. It’s the best building around. It’s bright and cheerful and the best place to meet up with everyone because we all go. There are the usual weddings, christenings and funerals, but we all go to Mass every Sunday without fail. You have to have a very good reason to be excused – a sore head definitely doesn’t count!

There are also fairs and fetes. When the lord gives us a day off, we all get together at the church for a bit of a party. Sometimes the lord even arranges for us all to have a feast, like when the harvest has been collected, or at Easter. Those are the best days. Lots of food and drink, some dancing, a good gossip with all my friends. The children love it too.

And we always know the priest is there if we have any troubles. He is probably the only person except the lord with any education in the village. We all go to him for advice if we don’t know what to do. Lucky for us our priest is friendly. He doesn’t mind what time we go knocking on his door.

It’s not all good though. We all have to pay a tithe to the priest. That means we have to give him ten per cent of everything we earn. That is a lot, especially when we have other taxes to pay as well. It doesn’t seem fair. Why should we give our hard earned money to the church? I’ve heard that in some areas the priests are corrupt and steal from the villagers. The peasants get poorer whilst the priests get rich and fat! So unfair. It shouldn’t be allowed. Thank goodness our priest seems to be above board.

Oh, finally, everyone is ready. I’d best get them out the door before one of them decides to hold us up again!

Penny Brooks


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