Welcome to the website for the project ‘Faith in the Town: Lay Religion, Urbanisation and Industrialisation in England, 1740-1830’. Based at the University of Manchester, the project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and runs from December 2018 to December 2021.

Our research focuses on ordinary people’s experiences of religion in urban areas in the North of England, between 1740 and 1830. We are looking primarily at diaries, letters, church and school records, business papers, maps and objects to find out the ways in which piety shaped the lives and outlooks of men, women and children living in the industrialising towns of the later eighteenth century.

Here you will find out more about the project’s aims, its funding and partners, and information about events and outputs. We will be blogging about our work as it unfolds. You can also follow us on Twitter.

Publication news

The first article from the project was published online by Historical Journal in October 2020. ‘Faith and Urban Domestic Sociability in Northern England’ by Dr Kate Gibson argues that sociability in urban homes was considered a key part of religious practice, and that supposedly secular aspects of sociability – such as courtship or the demonstration of status – were entirely bound up with questions of faith.

Read the article for free here.

Faith in the Town on the radio! 

Listen to our Principal Investigator Professor Hannah Barker speaking about the project on the BBC New Thinking podcast with Dr Tom Charlton of the University of Stirling and Dr Naomi Pullin of the University of Warwick.