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The cathedral as icon: a study of congregational growth in cathedrals

White, Hazel Susan (2011)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

This thesis, based on quantitative research carried out in early 2007, is an exploration of congregational growth in English cathedrals, seeking to examine some of the factors that may have contributed to this reported numerical growth.
Data from questionnaires completed by a sample of adult worshippers from three particular cathedral congregations in Birmingham, Durham, and Portsmouth, was analysed in order to gain some understanding of both the sociological make-up of these particular cathedral congregations, and also why these particular people said they were attracted to cathedral worship.
In all three cathedrals, those who took part in this research highlighted the importance of choral music, along with a particular type of service and style of worship, in attracting them to the cathedral in the first place. They then spoke of the importance of belonging to the cathedral community, together with prayer and spirituality, as being among the most important aspects of their association with the cathedral now.
In the light of these responses, this thesis concluded with an interpretative piece of applied theology exploring whether the idea that people come to cathedrals in order to be anonymous is in fact a myth, and then suggesting the "cathedral as icon" as a metaphor to describe the way in which a cathedral might nurture a journey into belonging to a cathedral community.

Type of Work:M.Phil. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Gooder, Paula
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:Department of Theology and Religion
Subjects:BR Christianity
BX Christian Denominations
HT Communities. Classes. Races
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:756
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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