Faith Schools, Community Engagement and Social Cohesion: A Rural Perspective

Peter J. Hemming

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Much of the debate surrounding the impact of faith schools on wider society has focused on the extent to which they promote social cohesion in urban communities. Yet, much of the faith-based sector in both England and Wales actually consists of small, rural, Anglican primary schools. This article takes a closer look at these schools to further investigate their influence on social cohesion and community relations, as well as wider questions concerning the significance of religion for contemporary rural life. With reference to an in-depth case study comparison of two Anglican primary schools in western England and southern Wales, the article draws on qualitative data from staff, pupils, parents and local villagers to explore different approaches to community engagement and their consequences for social cohesion. In so doing, the article makes important contributions to the literatures on faith-based schooling, rural education, social cohesion, and religion in rural contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)805-824
JournalSociologia Ruralis
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 24 Feb 2018


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