Sociology student, James, reflects on the trip:
The Upper Sixth Sociology group embarked on a field trip on February 8th, which included a tour around the St Albans Abbey learning how the Church has dealt with the increase of secularisation within society. Part of the trip involved students carrying out research by observing different parts of St Albans such as restaurants and coffee shops, to examine the demographics of these particular areas.
As we entered the Abbey we were immediately welcomed by our guide, Steve, who introduced us to Reverend Kevin. Reverend Kevin held the Q and A session, where we asked some challenging questions around the topic of the levels of religiosity decreasing within most parts of England. Reverend Kevin handled the questions terrifically as he challenged our sociological perspective on society with his religious one. His knowledge on this topic is vast and he was able to respond and explain some of the procedures that the Church are undergoing to tackle the low attendance from the youth. They organise clergy meetings that are run and built around young people, and they have set up social media sites including Twitter and Instagram to try and attract younger audiences.
After our enjoyable encounter with Reverend Kevin, we continued on with the trip with a tour around the Abbey, where we learned about its broad history and what the Church provides for non-religious people. Steve explained that they always make the Church an accessible and welcoming place for all.
Before we departed, our final task was to conduct observational research within the St Albans town centre. All students carried out a covert observation, where we examined the different ethnicities and genders within our particular area of town, and from this observation we noted down the atmosphere and mood of these areas.
The trip was an enlightening experience that gave the students an insight into the Church’s perspective about secularisation increasing within contemporary society. The trip was also very informative as it allowed us to learn about how the Church is changing some aspects to gain more attraction from younger audiences by launching social media campaigns.
Our thanks to St Albans Abbey for hosting us.