The medieval Church


  • Intro

    The Church was perhaps the single most powerful institution in medieval life, its influence reaching almost every aspect of people's lives. Its religious observances gave shape to the calendar; its rituals marked important moments in an individual's life (including baptism, confirmation, marriage, holy orders and the last rites); and its teachings underpinned mainstream beliefs about morality, the meaning of life and the afterlife.


    The headquarters of the western Church was Rome. For most of the medieval period, this was the chief residence of the Pope, who was regarded as the successor of St Peter. Christ had appointed Peter the chief apostle, and gave him the 'keys to the kingdom of heaven (Gospel of St Matthew 16:19) which, according to tradition, were inherited by his successors. This manuscript shows Pope Boniface VIII and his cardinals.


    Shelfmark: Add. 23923 f. 2

Find out more about The medieval Church Here

Explore more timeline content: