Non-conformist churches at the heart of Black Country life

Non-conformist churches at the heart of Black Country life

Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries the non-conformist churches played a pivotal part in the lives of thousands of people in the rapidly expanding Black Country.

Their influence reached well beyond the religious life of the region. In every community, non-conformist chapels provided social support, schools and, in times of epidemics, hope. They also offered working men the chance to hold office and take decisions about their social conditions at a time when many other institutions denied them these opportunities.

University of Birmingham researcher Dr Janet Sullivan has studied these communities in which she has a special interest – her great, great, great, great grandfather was one of the founders of the first Methodist community in Oldbury. Dr Sullivan discusses the importance of the non-conformist churches on the social history of the Black Country with well-known broadcaster, Graham Fisher.


Graham Fisher


Janet Sullivan

In: Black Country,

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