According to Elizabeth Janet Gray's Adam of the Road, how did the Catholic Church influence daily life in 13th-century England?

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The Catholic Church influenced people in their daily lives in 13th-century England because it played a pivotal role in nearly all aspects of society.

Elizabeth Janet Gray’s Adam of the Road, shows this constant impact. Adam and his friend Perkin go to a school maintained by the Abbey of St. Alban, so every day the two boys go off to learn, their lives are influenced by the Catholic Church. The church can also impact what people can do or say. As the church disapproves of minstrel tales, they could stop Adam’s dad, Roger, from telling his stories or compel him to tell stories about religious figures. The church can also ignore people, as sometimes they “just pretended not to hear” Roger’s secular narratives.

Using the Abbey of St. Alban as a symbol, Gray shows the power of the Catholic Church in England during the 1200s. Perkin is captivated by the sight of a church figure, and the church makes its presence known by ringing a bell seven times a day for “services of prayer and praise.” It’s not farfetched to say that—for many people in 13th-century England—the church was the center of daily life. Gray tells how the church and church figures entertained royalty, socialized with parishioners, fed the hungry, and, of course, provided schooling.

When Adam makes it to London and goes inside St. Paul’s Cathedral, he finds out that the church was a place for people “transacting important business.” Overall, the church was central to people's daily lives in England throughout the 13th century, spanning a wealth of realms, including education, social welfare, and economics.

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