Parish, Power & Politics

Date / time: 7 May - 8 May, 5:45 pm - 6:30 pm

Parish, Power & Politics

The 19th Warwick Symposium on Parish Research will take the form of a webinar on Friday 7 May 2021 (evening) and Saturday 8 May 2021 (all day). Under the general theme of ‘Parish, Power & Politics’, proceedings are co-organized by Beat Kümin (Warwick) and Marjolein Schepers (IAS Fernandes Fellow/VUB), with the help of Warwick research students Daniel Gettings and Maria Tauber.

Parishes have always been about more than religion. Aspects like the election of representatives, allocation of pews or administration of funds moved communal concerns well into the political sphere. We know much about processes of social and confessional differentiation, but what exactly were the power relations in parish communities? How did localities negotiate their dealings with manorial lords, city councils and state authorities? To which extent were parishes instrumentalized for secular purposes like local government or even resistance?

We have been fortunate to secure a keynote address by Keith Snell (Leicester) on ‘Parishes, pandemics and paths to take: post-Covid historical options’. Alongside, the event features six panels on the ‘Local Politics of Poor Relief’, ‘Strangers & Locals’, ‘Negotiating Community’, ‘Patronage & Paternalism’, ‘People & Politics’ and ‘Parish Governance’, involving 25 speakers from 9 countries

A full up-to-date programme appears on our Symposium Homepage:


To attend the Symposium without giving a paper, please send your email address & a brief note on parish-related interests to by 1 May 2021. We will then provide you with a joining link shortly before the event, which will take place virtually on Blackboard Collaborate (a platform accessible from laptops or mobile devices via all major internet browsers, incl. Chrome, Edge and Safari, without the need to download any programmes or apps). The default assumption is for participants to attend both days of the Symposium. Please note that advance registration by the above date is required in all cases.

We look forward to ‘seeing’ you in May.

Cover picture: Cornelis de Wael, ‘Beggars at the church door’ (1629). Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum