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Christianity arrived in Britain 1_____ the first or second centuries, probably via Ireland and Spain, but it only became firmly established when the Pope sent St Augustine from Rome in the sixth century 2_____ convert the people of Britain, especially the newly arrived Saxons, to Christianity. 3_____ the help of Christians already living in Kent, Augustine established his church in Canterbury and became 4_____ first in the series of Archbishops of Canterbury, unbroken to this day.

For the next 1,000 years, England was part 5_____ the Roman Catholic Church. But in 1534, during the reign of King Henry VIII, the English Church separated from Rome. The principal reason 6_____ the split was that Henry VIII wanted to divorce his wife, Catherine of Aragon. Pope Clement VII refused to agree 7 _____ Henry’s request and so Henry decided to become head of the Church of England himself 8_____ order to ensure that the divorce went through and that he could marry the second of his six wives.

England briefly rejoined 9_____ Roman Catholic Church during the reign of Queen Mary in 1555, but reverted to Protestantism after her sister Elisabeth I came to the throne. In the 17th century there was conflict 10_____ the Puritans, who wanted further reform, and the church, 11______ wanted to retain traditional beliefs and practices. This led 12_____ a bloody civil war in which King Charles I was executed 13_____ the Puritans. However, the monarchy and the Church of England were restored in 1660, and to this day, the British monarch is still the head of the Church of England. For many decades following the Restoration of 1660, Catholics were excluded from public life and could not 14_____ elected to Parliament, but gradually they were granted full rights and liberties. However, the heir to the British throne 15_____ still forbidden by law to marry a Catholic.


7. Are the sentences true or false? Write T or F:

1. St Augustine came to Britain via Ireland and Spain

2. Augustine was the first to introduce Christianity to Britain

3. Some Christians who already lived in Britain helped Augustine to set up his church

4. England remained in the Catholic Church until the sixteenth century

5. King Henry VIII broke away from the Catholic Church because the Pope wouldn't do what he wanted

6. Catherine of Aragon was Henry's second wife

7. England briefly became a Catholic country again when Elizabeth became queen

8. There was a struggle between the church and the Puritans

9. King Charles I was on the side of the Puritans

10. Catholics were discriminated against for many years following the Restoration of the monarchy

11. The heir to the British throne can marry whoever he or she likes


8. Group-work and discussions:

1. Prepare a talk on different religions and confessions.

2. In groups discuss different religions and confessions and find similarities and differences among them.

3. Carry out a sociological poll among members of your family, friends, and group-mates and find out their attitude to religion, what they know about religious services and rituals, whether or not they take part in them. Discuss your findings in the round-table talks.



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