Prayer Factories or Entertainment Centres? – Life & Art of the Medieval Cornish Church (Truro)

Prayer Factories pic 260516
Cornwall’s medieval churches were the art galleries, theatre and TV of their day as well as ‘factories where prayers were made’. Other themes will include pilgrimage, guilds, local saints’ lives, plays, church houses and ales, crosses, chapels and holy wells.

The course aims to introduce students to Medieval Catholic religion with its strange mix of the sacred and secular, to look at churches as the art galleries and theatres of their day and assess the quality of the work and its meaning and to look at what was lost when the church became Protestant and Anglican at the Reformation.

Topics covered include:

Art – wall painting, stained glass, roof bosses and carvings, bench ends, pulpits, manuscript books etc, medieval religion including the seven sacraments, works of mercy, and moral themes like the warning to Sabbath breakers, pilgrims and pilgrimages, processions, clergy, guilds and other parish groups, bede rolls, prayers and the role of the poor, holy wells, chapels, crosses and other landscape features, lives of local saints, miracle or gwarry plays and the impact of Glasney College.

Also fun-fundraising like church ales and the church houses built to house the parish feasts.

No prior knowledge required and it is not necessary to have attended previous course on Deciphering the Cornish Church.


Course Code
Course Fee
£77 / free
Joanna Mattingly
Railway Tavern, Station Hill, Truro
Course Dates
Tuesday 17/01/2017 - Tuesday 28/03/2017
Session Length
2 hours
Fees: £77 (free to those receiving most benefits). 10 x Tuesdays 7-9pm, 9.30pm finish 1st & last session. No class 14 Feb