Britain's religious history was marked by a dynamic period known as the evangelical revival, the great wave of religious enthusiasm and missionary endeavour led by the Methodists, who split from the Church of England in the 1790s. The participatory nature of evangelical Christianity is evident in the autobiographies written by the ordinary working people who lived through the industrial revolution. This chapter examines the place of religion in the lives of working men and women during the industrial revolution, looking at Nonconformity and its promised brand of Christianity, which was attractive to many working people. It also shows how the sphere of religious belief and worship served as an important arena for workers to exercise their new social independence from their social superiors.
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