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Sunday Best

Church is the place to meet, see and be seen for these faithful Edwardians.

Of a weekday, Mitchell and Kenyon's cameramen might be occupied filming workers leaving factories or schoolchildren parading. On occasional Sundays, they found themselves with a more sombre subject: the faithful leaving places of worship. Mitchell and Kenyon's 'church gate' films mirror their 'factory gate' films, filling the frame with faces - though typically shot from a more respectful distance. Elsewhere, they shot footage of parades or processions with a religious flavour, with several featuring the Christian youth movement the Boys Brigade. The Anglican church was England's most prominent, but Catholicism has a strong presence here, reflecting its strength in M&K's Lancashire backyard and in southern Ireland. Several non-conformist denominations get a look-in too. These films show us another side of the Edwardian age, revealing how integral Christianity still was to public life. Unlike most factories or schools, churches brought the classes together, so these films offer us a vivid cross-section of society at prayer. Digitisation of this collection was funded by The National Lottery.

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Blue Coat Children Marching to Curzon Hall, Birmingham (1901)
Blue Coat Children Marching to Curzon Hall, Birmingham (1901)
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Blue Coat Children Marching to Curzon Hall, Birmingham (1901)

Non-Fiction19011 minsSilent Location: Birmingham

Church school pupils set off for a trip to the famous Birmingham entertainment hall.

Manchester Catholics Whitsuntide Procession (1904)
Manchester Catholics Whitsuntide Procession (1904)
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Manchester Catholics Whitsuntide Procession (1904)

Non-Fiction190411 minsSilent Location: Manchester

A damp and murky day greets the annual Whitsuntide Catholic procession in Edwardian Manchester.

Carnival Processions in Birkenhead (1902)
Carnival Processions in Birkenhead (1902)
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Carnival Processions in Birkenhead (1902)

Non-Fiction190213 minsSilent Location: Birkenhead

May Queens and drag queens, cadets and clowns: thousands turn out for an Edwardian fundraiser in the Merseyside town.

Congregation Leaving New Jerusalem Church in Accrington (1902)
Congregation Leaving New Jerusalem Church in Accrington (1902)
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Congregation Leaving New Jerusalem Church in Accrington (1902)

Non-Fiction19023 minsSilent Location: Accrington

An Edwardian congregation emerges after Sunday service in Accrington, Lancashire.

Southport Carnival and Trades Procession (1902)
Southport Carnival and Trades Procession (1902)
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Southport Carnival and Trades Procession (1902)

Non-Fiction19025 minsSilent Location: Southport

Colourful carnival floats in the Lancashire seaside resort of Southport.

Manchester Italian Catholic Procession (1902)
Manchester Italian Catholic Procession (1902)
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Manchester Italian Catholic Procession (1902)

Non-Fiction19023 minsSilent Location: Manchester

Residents of Manchester's own 'Little Italy' put on a display of religious pomp during the city's annual Whit Walk.

Congregation Leaving St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral, Dublin (1901)
Congregation Leaving St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral, Dublin (1901)
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Congregation Leaving St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral, Dublin (1901)

Non-Fiction19012 minsSilent

Dublin's Catholic faithful wend their way home after Sunday service.

Congregations Leaving the Centenary Chapel, Middlesbrough (1902)
Congregations Leaving the Centenary Chapel, Middlesbrough (1902)
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Congregations Leaving the Centenary Chapel, Middlesbrough (1902)

Non-Fiction19021 minsSilent Location: St Hilda's

A small crowd bustles outside the now-demolished Centenary Methodist Wesleyan Chapel.

Morecambe Church Lads Parade at Drill (1901)
Morecambe Church Lads Parade at Drill (1901)
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Morecambe Church Lads Parade at Drill (1901)

Non-Fiction19015 minsSilent Location: Morecambe

Larking about during Church Lads' Brigade drill and parade in Morecambe.

Manchester Catholic Orphanage Boys (1901)
Manchester Catholic Orphanage Boys (1901)
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Manchester Catholic Orphanage Boys (1901)

Non-Fiction19011 minsSilent Location: Manchester

Young orphans march through the streets of Edwardian Manchester with heads held high.

Manchester Spiritualists Procession (1901)
Manchester Spiritualists Procession (1901)
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Manchester Spiritualists Procession (1901)

Non-Fiction19017 minsSilent Location: Manchester

Exponents of Britain's newest religion don their Sunday best for a parade through Edwardian Manchester.

Congregation at Preston Parish Church (c.1901)
Congregation at Preston Parish Church (c.1901)
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Congregation at Preston Parish Church (c.1901)

Non-Fiction19011 minsSilent Location: Preston

Preston's great and good gather outside the magnificent St. John's church.

Procession in Accrington Park (1900)
Procession in Accrington Park (1900)
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Procession in Accrington Park (1900)

Non-Fiction19005 minsSilent Location: Accrington

Accrington locals parade in their Sunday best.

Lytham Club Day Carnival (1902)
Lytham Club Day Carnival (1902)
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Non-Fiction19027 minsSilent Location: Lytham

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Congregation Leaving Warrington Parish Church (1902)
Congregation Leaving Warrington Parish Church (1902)
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Congregation Leaving Warrington Parish Church (1902)

Non-Fiction19022 minsSilent Location: Warrington

Edwardian Churchgoers crowd around the gates to St Elphin's after Sunday morning service.

Warrington Walking Day Procession (1902)
Warrington Walking Day Procession (1902)
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Warrington Walking Day Procession (1902)

Non-Fiction190212 minsSilent Location: Warrington

Fine outfits on display in a Christian procession through Warrington's Bank Park.

Accrington Catholic Procession (1912)
Accrington Catholic Procession (1912)
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Accrington Catholic Procession (1912)

Non-Fiction19129 minsSilent Location: Accrington

Filmed record of a local parade crammed with detail and charm.

Old Poulton Parish Church, Morecambe (c.1901)
Old Poulton Parish Church, Morecambe (c.1901)
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Old Poulton Parish Church, Morecambe (c.1901)

Non-Fiction19011 minsSilent Location: Morecambe

Worshippers stroll out of church after the Sunday service.

Mayor's Sunday at St Mary's Church, Clitheroe (1912)
Mayor's Sunday at St Mary's Church, Clitheroe (1912)
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Mayor's Sunday at St Mary's Church, Clitheroe (1912)

Non-Fiction191210 minsSilent Location: Clitheroe

Brollies and ceremonial regalia are out in force in Clitheroe for Mayor's Sunday.

Treat to 5000 Poor Burnley Children (1905)
Treat to 5000 Poor Burnley Children (1905)
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Treat to 5000 Poor Burnley Children (1905)

Non-Fiction19055 minsSilent Location: Burnley

Deprived Edwardian kids of Burnley enjoy some midsummer fun in the park.

Congregation Leaving St Mary's Church, Dumfries (c.1901)
Congregation Leaving St Mary's Church, Dumfries (c.1901)
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Congregation Leaving St Mary's Church, Dumfries (c.1901)

Non-Fiction19012 minsSilent Location: Dumfries

Worshippers in their Sunday best file out of the Church.

Manchester and Salford's Harriers Procession (1901)
Manchester and Salford's Harriers Procession (1901)
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Manchester and Salford's Harriers Procession (1901)

Non-Fiction19014 minsSilent Location: Manchester

A small boy impersonates military hero Lord Roberts, much to the delight of the crowds.

Scenes Outside St Elphin's Church, Warrington (c.1901)
Scenes Outside St Elphin's Church, Warrington (c.1901)
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Scenes Outside St Elphin's Church, Warrington (c.1901)

Non-Fiction19012 minsSilent Location: Warrington

An eager crowd competes for camera time outside a Lancashire church.

St. Joseph's Catholic Whit Procession, Blackburn (1911)
St. Joseph's Catholic Whit Procession, Blackburn (1911)
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St. Joseph's Catholic Whit Procession, Blackburn (1911)

Non-Fiction19116 minsSilent Location: Blackburn

Blackburn Catholics assemble to mark Whitsun weekend.

Church Parade of the Boys' Brigade in Birmingham (1902)
Church Parade of the Boys' Brigade in Birmingham (1902)
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Church Parade of the Boys' Brigade in Birmingham (1902)

Non-Fiction19023 minsSilent Location: Birmingham

Crowds line the streets for the annual parade of the Birmingham Boys' Brigade.

Manchester Band of Hope Procession (1901)
Manchester Band of Hope Procession (1901)
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Manchester Band of Hope Procession (1901)

Non-Fiction19017 minsSilent

A temperance society decries the demon drink on the streets of Edwardian Manchester.

Manchester Sunday Schools Whit Monday Procession (1904)
Manchester Sunday Schools Whit Monday Procession (1904)
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Manchester Sunday Schools Whit Monday Procession (1904)

Non-Fiction19049 minsSilent Location: Manchester

Crowds throng the city streets to see a parade of beautifully turned out children in a festive parade.

Hunslet Carnival and Gala (1904)
Hunslet Carnival and Gala (1904)
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Hunslet Carnival and Gala (1904)

Non-Fiction19045 minsSilent Location: Hunslet

A spectacular street procession in the heart of industrial West Yorkshire.

Congregation Leaving St James' Church, Hessle Road, Hull (1902)
Congregation Leaving St James' Church, Hessle Road, Hull (1902)
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Congregation Leaving St James' Church, Hessle Road, Hull (1902)

Non-Fiction19022 minsSilent Location: Kingston upon Hull

The faithful surge out of St James' Church onto a wind-swept street in Edwardian Hull.

Congregation Leaving Wesleyan Chapel in Mansfield (c.1901)
Congregation Leaving Wesleyan Chapel in Mansfield (c.1901)
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Congregation Leaving Wesleyan Chapel in Mansfield (c.1901)

Non-Fiction19012 minsSilent Location: Mansfield

A view of Mansfield's Bridge Street, as worshippers emerge from chapel.

Halifax Catholic Procession (c.1905)
Halifax Catholic Procession (c.1905)
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Halifax Catholic Procession (c.1905)

Non-Fiction19054 minsSilent Location: Halifax

A proud expression of Catholic identity, this Edwardian parade fills the streets of the Yorkshire town.

Royal Halifax Infirmary Annual Street Procession (1908)
Royal Halifax Infirmary Annual Street Procession (1908)
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Royal Halifax Infirmary Annual Street Procession (1908)

Non-Fiction19084 minsSilent Location: Halifax

Good people of Halifax defy summer rains to benefit the Infirmary, long before the NHS.

Oldham Catholic Schools Procession (1904)
Oldham Catholic Schools Procession (1904)
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Oldham Catholic Schools Procession (1904)

Non-Fiction19042 minsSilent Location: Oldham

Catholic schoolchildren lead a Whit Friday procession in honour of Our Lady.

Crewe Hospital Procession and Pageant (1907)
Crewe Hospital Procession and Pageant (1907)
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Crewe Hospital Procession and Pageant (1907)

Non-Fiction190711 minsSilent Location: Crewe

A colourful fundraising pageant in support of Crewe Cottage Hospital.

Magnificent Reproductions of the Great Yorkshire Show in Bradford (1901)
Magnificent Reproductions of the Great Yorkshire Show in Bradford (1901)
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Magnificent Reproductions of the Great Yorkshire Show in Bradford (1901)

Non-Fiction190115 minsSilent Location: Bradford

Great fashions, hefty livestock, horse jumping and a few spectacular falls on display at an agricultural show.

Congregation Leaving St Patrick's Church in Cork (1902)
Congregation Leaving St Patrick's Church in Cork (1902)
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Congregation Leaving St Patrick's Church in Cork (1902)

Non-Fiction19001 minsSilent

Well-to-do of Cork worshippers leaving St Patrick's Church.

Congregation Leaving Jesuit Church of St. Francis Xavier, Dublin (1902)
Congregation Leaving Jesuit Church of St. Francis Xavier, Dublin (1902)
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Congregation Leaving Jesuit Church of St. Francis Xavier, Dublin (1902)

Non-Fiction19024 minsSilent

Dublin churchgoers after mass in 1902.

Congregation at Hanley Old Church (c.1901)
Congregation at Hanley Old Church (c.1901)
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Congregation at Hanley Old Church (c.1901)

Non-Fiction19013 minsSilent Location: Hanley

Staffordshire parishioners stream home after a service.

Congregation Leaving Parish Church, Sheffield (1902)
Congregation Leaving Parish Church, Sheffield (1902)
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Congregation Leaving Parish Church, Sheffield (1902)

Non-Fiction19023 minsSilent Location: Sheffield

Well-to-do Edwardian churchgoers

Crowds Leaving Park Congregational Church in Accrington (1902)
Crowds Leaving Park Congregational Church in Accrington (1902)
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Crowds Leaving Park Congregational Church in Accrington (1902)

Non-Fiction19023 minsSilent Location: Accrington

Members of a non-conformist congregation leave their Lancashire church.

Liverpool Church Parade and Inspection (1901)
Liverpool Church Parade and Inspection (1901)
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Liverpool Church Parade and Inspection (1901)

Non-Fiction19014 minsSilent Location: Liverpool

Crowds gather to watch hundreds of Edwardian policemen marching through a Liverpool street.

Congregations Leaving St. Hilda's Church, Middlesbrough (1902)
Congregations Leaving St. Hilda's Church, Middlesbrough (1902)
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Congregations Leaving St. Hilda's Church, Middlesbrough (1902)

Non-Fiction19022 minsSilent Location: St Hilda's

Edwardian worshippers at a since-demolished church in Middlesbrough's former centre.

Congregation Leaving All Saints Church, Blackburn (c.1903)
Congregation Leaving All Saints Church, Blackburn (c.1903)
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Congregation Leaving All Saints Church, Blackburn (c.1903)

Non-Fiction19032 minsSilent Location: Blackburn

Dressed to the nines, a Lancashire congregation leaves church in Nova Scotia, Blackburn.

Congregation Leaving St Mary's Catholic Church, Blackburn (1903)
Congregation Leaving St Mary's Catholic Church, Blackburn (1903)
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Congregation Leaving St Mary's Catholic Church, Blackburn (1903)

Non-Fiction19032 minsSilent Location: Blackburn

Catholic parishioners parading in their Easter Sunday best.

Boys' Brigade Review at Racecourse (c.1902)
Boys' Brigade Review at Racecourse (c.1902)
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Boys' Brigade Review at Racecourse (c.1902)

Non-Fiction19026 minsSilent

Nurses and soldiers parade for crowds and the camera, with the boys' brigade marching past.

Congregation Leaving St Mary's Dominican Church in Cork (1902)
Congregation Leaving St Mary's Dominican Church in Cork (1902)
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Congregation Leaving St Mary's Dominican Church in Cork (1902)

Non-Fiction19021 minsSilent

A well-dressed church congregation gathers on the elegant portico.

March Past of 20,000 Coventry Children (1902)
March Past of 20,000 Coventry Children (1902)
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March Past of 20,000 Coventry Children (1902)

Non-Fiction19026 minsSilent Location: Coventry

The Coronation of Edward VII is celebrated by thousands of Coventry Sunday school children.