Inside the church: What do you need to know?

Open navigator

1. Monuments of faith

Christianity is thought to have arrived in Britain in the 2nd Century, when most of the country was part of the Roman Empire. Today, there are around 37.6 million Christians in the UK.

There are many different branches of Christianity, with churches that suit their particular styles of worship. The Church of England - the established Christian Church in England – is thought to have the most, at around 16,000.

Although every church is different, some features are more common than others. Discover the meaning behind the objects in churches and uncover their historical significance.

2. CLICKABLE: The church revealed

Click on the image below to find out more about the function, symbolism and history of some of the most common features in a Christian church.

This content uses functionality that is not supported by your current browser. Consider upgrading your browser.

3. What else could you see?

Keep an eye out for these rare gems next time you’re in an ancient church.

Mercy seats

You selected

Mercy seats

These wooden shelves on the underside of a folding seat gave the clergy a break during long prayers. They could lean on them, but appear to be still standing.

Angel roofs

You selected

Angel roofs

In some medieval churches, colourful angels can be found on the ceiling, watching over the congregation. They are said to create a sense of heaven on earth.

Effigies

You selected

Effigies

Some medieval churches house ancient tombs and carved effigies, often of local noblemen or important members of the clergy.

Devil's door

You selected

Devil's door

You might see these in the north wall of old churches. They were left open during baptisms, so any devils fleeing the child could escape the church.