I have just joined the Forum. I have previously lived in Kent and still travel to and through it several times a year but now live with my wife in Bruges, Flanders.
I am a mature student studying for an MA in History and am currently writing an essay on how the Reformation affected the baptism liturgy in parish churches in Kent. I hope to use a sample of (say) 10 churches to describe the key areas of change. The scope of the essay will cover:
The Reformation after the 1538 injunction from Henry VIII that the bible is to be made available to parishioners in English and thereafter, the more fundamental changes under Edward VI (1547 onwards) and subsequent revisions through to the end of the Interregnum in 1660. There might be some evidence of movement in the opposite direction under Mary and during the time of William Laud as Archbishop of Canterbury.
I believe Lutheran and Calvinist preachers mainly entered England via Kent and wonder if there is any evidence of their involvement at some churches. In particular, is there evidence to be found in churches of the arrival of the Hugeunots.
The main baptismal changes I anticipate, consisted of moving the font away from the church entrance into the body of the church; including for the first time, the parishioners in the baptism service and not limiting it to parents/godparents; changes sometimes to the font itself (and/or its cover) to remove ornate and 'mythologicalí carvings on or around the font, and revisions (depending on local interpretations) away from water immersion to sprinkling.
My question then, is can anyone recommend particular Kent churches that I might visit to see Reformation change in Baptism? Any help would be very much appreciated.