Victorian Powys for primary  schools
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Religion
in Victorian times
 
  The new age challenges an old church
Glossary
Anglican curate

The Anglican and the Non-Conformist churches had an effect on many aspects of life in Wales in the 19th Century. For example, at the beginning of Queen Victoria’s reign, two societies existed to run schools for people who could not afford to pay for their children to be educated.
One was called the National Society, and it aimed to teach the Anglican religion to the poor. The other was called the British and Foreign Society, and it promoted education that was not centred on religion.

Anglican - Church of England
Nonconformist - outside the Church of England
 
 
In 1847, a report looking into the state of Welsh education showed that education in Wales had many problems resulting from divides in social class and in religion.
The report itself was very unpopular because it included remarks that were offensive to Welsh people. Some Anglican clergy blamed a chapel upbringing for Non-Conformist children doing badly at school, and this too caused resentment.
 
  The Victorian period saw a tremendous growth in the Nonconformist congregations in Wales. These consisted of people who did not feel the Church of England was for them. They felt that the Church of England was the church of the English speaking landowning classes.
The Nonconformists were mainly working people and tradesmen who felt more at home coming together with other people like them to build a chapel for themselves, and to worship together in their own way.
Montgomeryshire chapel
 

Many of these chapels held all their services in Welsh and all the hymns and Bible readings were in the language. In the countryside particularly, where many spoke little English, this was important.

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