Curriculum Kernewek - Glossary

A

Act of Uniformity
Acts of Parliament, passed in and around the C16th and C17th, prescribing the form of public prayers, administration of sacraments, and other rites of the Established Church of England. This aligned the Church and the Crown essentially making adherence compulsory. The implications of this act meant that through its enforcement many Catholic and Protestant dissenters risked persecution.

Anglican
The Church of England and churches which have similar beliefs, worship practices and church structures.

Antiquarians
People who study ancient times.

Apostolic
Relating to or deriving from the Apostles of Jesus or their teachings.

Archdeacon
A senior Christian cleric (in the early Church a deacon, in the modern Anglican Church a priest) to whom a bishop delegates certain responsibilities.

Augustine
A Benedictine monk from Rome who was sent to Christianise King Aethelberht of Kent by Pope Gregory the Great in 597. King Aethelberht converted to Christianity and Augustine became the first Archbishop of Canterbury in the year 597. Although Christian communities already existed in parts of Britain, he is considered the founder of the English Church and after his death was revered as a saint.

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B

Bahaullah
Also known as Mirza Husayn Ali Nuri of Tehran, was the founder of Ba'hai. In the 1860's he began declaring that he was a messenger from God following earlier prophets such as Jesus and Muhammed. He was banished and imprisoned for his beliefs. Bahaullah's teachings emphasise the equality and spiritual unity of all humankind.

Barrow
An ancient burial mound.

Baptism
A sacrament marked by the symbolic application of water to the head or immersion of the body into water, by which a person becomes a Christian.

Baptist
A member of a Protestant Christian denomination advocating baptism of adult believers only, by total immersion.

Bible Christian
A member of the Bible Christian Church, a Methodist denomination founded in 1815 in North Cornwall.

Book of Common Prayer
First introduced in 1549, it detailed the prayers and complete forms of service to be held in the Church of England. The initial versions were edited by Thomas Cranmer and enforced the use of the English Language by the clergy. The 1662 version of the Book of Common Prayer remained in use in Anglican Churches until relatively recently, but has now been largely replaced with a new book, 'Common Worship'.

Breton
A native of Brittany and the name of the Celtic language of that region.

Bronze Age
The Bronze Age Period extends between 2500BC and 600BC and is characterised by the use of a range of metals in tool and jewellery making.

Buccas
Cornish spirits or devils. 'It is uncertain whether Bucka can be regarded as one of the fairy tribe; old people, within my remembrance, spoke of a Bucka Gwidden and a Bucka Dhu - by the former they meant good spirit, and by the latter an evil one, now known as Bucka boo. I have been told, by persons of credit, that within the last forty years it was a usual practice with Newlyn and Mousehole fishermen to leave on the sand at night a portion of their catch for Bucka.' William Bottrell.

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C

Cairn
A man-made pile (or stack) of stones used for the burial of an individual.

Cathedral
The principal church of a diocese, containing the bishop's official throne or seat.

Catholic
Catholics or Roman Catholics are Christians who believe that the Pope, based in Rome, is the successor to Saint Peter whom Christ appointed as the first head of His Church. Roman Catholic churches around the world share the same beliefs and practices.

Catholicism
A denomination of Christianity which holds that the Pope, based in Rome, is the successor to Saint Peter whom Christ appointed as the first head of His Church. Roman Catholic churches around the world share the same beliefs and practices.

Cell
Simple building, constructed as a dwelling by Cornish Saints and early Christians.

Celtic
The term Celtic was first attributed to the indigenous people of the British Isles by the Romans. It is though that they shared largely similar languages, cultural features and spiritual practices. Later on those now referred to as Gaels (Irish, Scottish and Manx) and the Brythonic Celts (Welsh, Cornish, and Bretons) developed distinct territories and cultural features.

Chancel
In church architecture, the chancel is the space around the altar in the sanctuary at the east end of a traditional Christian church building.

Chi-Ro
The Chi-Rho symbol is formed by superimposing the first two letters of the word 'Christ' as written in Greek - XPIETOE. This christogram appears on four stones in Cornwall, one of these being the inscribed stone built into the South porch of Phillack church. They have all been incorporated into larger structures, none of the stones are free-standing monuments.

Church of England
Is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion led by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Communion
Communion is one of the names by which the sacrament or part of the sacrament of the Eucharist is commonly known. The format differs across different traditions but involves the distribution of bread and wine.

Confirmation
The rite at which a baptised person affirms Christian belief and is admitted as a full member of the church.

Congregation
The members of a specific religious group who regularly attend a place of worship.

Congregational
Congregationalist churches are Protestant churches in which every local church congregation is independent, ecclesiastically sovereign, or "autonomous".

Constantine
Roman Emperor from 306 to 337 AD. Well known for being the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity, which changed the way Christians were treated across the Roman Empire.

Conversion
Changing one's religion or beliefs or the action of persuading someone else to change theirs.

Coptic
The Copts are the indigenous Christians of Egypt. Saint Mark is said to have taken Christianity to Egypt during the reign of the Roman emperor Nero in the first century, a dozen years after the Lord's ascension, and established the Coptic Church.

Curate
A member of the clergy engaged as assistant to a vicar, rector, or parish priest.

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D

Denomination
A religious denomination is a subgroup within a religion that operates under a common name, tradition, and identity.

Dharma
The teachings and practice of the Buddha.

Diocese
A diocese is a district under the supervision of a Bishop. It is divided into Parishes.

Droll Teller
Teller of traditional Cornish stories, derived from an oral-storytelling tradition.

Druid
Druids are mentioned in Roman records as a learned class of society in ancient Britain. Neo-Druids have reconstructed the belief system and practices of the Druids from historical sources, interpretation and speculation. Neo-Druids beliefs include the honouring of the ancestors and respect for, and worship of, nature.

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E

Ecumenism
Mainly refers to initiatives aimed at greater Christian unity or cooperation. It is used predominantly by and with reference to Christian denominations and Christian Churches separated by doctrine, history, and practice.

Eid
Eid Al-Fitr is a Muslim festival marking the end of the month of Ramadan, which is the month in which Muslims fast every day from sunrise to sunset. Eid Al-Adha is the second and final Eid celebration. It commemorates the completion of the Hajj pilgrimage. Although only pilgrims in Mecca participate in the Hajj fully, Muslims around the world join them in celebrating Eid Al-Adha.

Episcopal See
The official seat of a bishop. The bishop's seat is the earliest symbol of a bishop's authority, and can mean his office or the area over which he has authority.

Excommunicate
A religious censure used to deprive, suspend, or limit membership in a religious community or to restrict certain rights within it.

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F

Feast Day
A community festival to celebrate their patron saint.

French Revolution
Between 1789 and1799 was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France whereby the ruling absolute monarchy collapsed giving equality to the common man.

Font
An article of church furniture or a fixture used for the baptism of children and adults.

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G

Gaelic
Gaelic is an English word for any of three languages - Scots, Irish, Manx - which form one half (Goidelic) of the Celtic language family group.

Gildhouse
A Church House where ale was brewed and cakes baked for the parish feasts.

Glasney College
Glasney College was founded in 1265 at Penryn, Cornwall, by Bishop Bronescombe and was a centre of ecclesiastical power in medieval Cornwall and probably the best known and most important of Cornwall's religious institutions.

Golowan
The Feast of St John. Midsummer celebrations in Penzance commencing on the eve of the birth of St John, marked by bonfires and processions.

Gospel
An account of the life of Jesus of Nazareth. The most well known examples are those of Mark, Luke, John and Matthew.

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H

Holy Well
A spring usually revered by Pagans or Christians and often believed to have healing properties.

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I

Indigenous
Originating or naturally occurring in a particular area or environment.

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K

Knackers
Also known as knockers, they live underground. It is said that Cornish miners would leave pasty ends to appease them and there are also tales that they would make a knocking sound to warn miners of impending danger.

Knockers
Also known as knackers, they live underground. It is said that Cornish miners would leave pasty ends to appease them and there are also tales that they would make a knocking sound to warn miners of impending danger.

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L

Lann
Enclosed settlements for religious communities. Cornish place names with Lan as a prefix e.g. Lanreath often refer to a Cornish Saint or the founder of a Christian community e.g. Saint Reydhow. Several Cornish settlements were established in this way.

Lych Gate
A gateway with a roof found at the entrance to a churchyard.

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M

Manx
Used to describe the language or people of the Isle of Man.

Martin Luther
Was a German monk who played a key role in the Reformation and development of Protestantism. He criticised the Roman Catholic Church and was excommunicated before organising his own church and translating the Bible into German.

Mass
Mass is one of the names by which the sacrament of the Eucharist is commonly known. The format differs across different traditions but involves the distribution of bread and wine.

Medieval
The Medieval Period, also known as the Middle Ages, is a period of European history that lasted from the C5th until the C15th.

Megalithic
Of or relating to large stones which have been used to construct a structure or monument, or the people who erected them.

Menhir
A menhir is a large upright standing stone. Menhirs may be found singly as monoliths, or as part of a group of similar stones.

Mercenaries
Professional soldiers hired to serve in a foreign army.

Methodism/Methodist
A Protestant movement derived from the system of faith and practice founded by John and Charles Wesley in the C18th.

Miracle Play
Also known as mystery play. In Cornwall, the plays were thought to have been written at Glasney College, Penryn and performed in outdoor venues called Plain an Gwarry (playing places) in medieval times.The plays represented stories and themes from the Bible.

Monk
A person or community of people dedicated to a religious way of life and often living in partial or complete seclusion.

Monastery
The complex housing a community of people dedicated to a religious way of life and often living in partial or complete seclusion.

Monastic/Monasticism
Of a religious way of life that often entails living in partial or complete seclusion.

Montol
The Montol Festival is an annual heritage, arts and community festival in Penzance, held between the 16th and 22 December each year. The festival celebrates the Winter Solstice and is a revival or reinterpretation of many traditional Cornish midwinter customs and Christmas traditions.

Moravian
German Protestant denomination begun in 1457, which emphasises Christian unity, personal piety, missions, and music.

Mosque
A Muslim place of worship.

Muhammad
Muhammad was born in Mecca in Saudi Arabia in 570. Muslims believe that Islam was gradually revealed to humanity by a number of prophets including Jesus, but that the final and complete revelation of the faith was made through the Prophet Muhammad in the C7th.

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N

Nave
The central approach to the high altar, the main body of a Christian church.

Neolithic
The Neolithic Period extends between 4,000BC and 2,500BC and is characterised by the development of farming.

Neopaganism
An umbrella term for contemporary spiritual and religious movements influenced by historical pagan activities.

Non-conformist
The term non-conformist came into use after the Act of Uniformity 1662, to refer to Christians who did not belong to the Church of England, such as Baptists, Quakers, Presbyterians and Congregationalists. Later non-conformist groups include Methodism, Salvation Army, Plymouth Brethren and Unitarians.

Non-conformism
The term non-conformism came into use after the Act of Uniformity 1662, to refer to Christians who did not belong to the Church of England, such as Baptists, Quakers, Presbyterians and Congregationalists. Later non-conformist groups include Methodism, Salvation Army, Plymouth Brethren and Unitarians.

Numinous
Having a strong religious or spiritual quality; indicating or suggesting the presence of a divinity.

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O

Occult
Occultism is the study of occult practices, including (but not limited to) magic, alchemy, extra-sensory perception, astrology, spiritualism, and divination. Interpretation of occultism and its concepts can be found in the belief structures of religions such as Gnosticism, Hermeticism, Theosophy, Wicca, Thelema, Satanism, and Neopaganism.

Ogham
The central approach to the high altar, the main body of a Christian church.

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P

Pagan
A follower of a polytheistic or pantheistic nature-worshipping religion.

Paganism
A polytheistic or pantheistic nature-worshipping religion.

Pallium
A woollen garment of the Roman Catholic Church originally worn by the Pope.

Parish
A district of a diocese and area under the pastoral care of a parish priest.

Philanthropy
An altruistic concern for human welfare and advancement, usually manifested by donations of money, property, or work to needy persons, by endowment of institutions of learning and hospitals, and by generosity to other socially useful purposes.

Pilgrimage
A journey to a shrine or other location of importance to a person's beliefs and faith.

Piskies
Also known as the little people, piskies are often described as Cornish fairies or sprites and are sometimes helpful but often mischievous.

Plain an Gwarry
A Cornish Medieval amphitheatre or playing place used for outdoor performances of miracle plays, also known as mystery plays.

Plymouth Brethren
A conservative Christian evangelical movement that began in Ireland and England in the late 1820s in reaction to the established Church. The movement became known for its anti-denominational, anti-clerical, and anti-credal stance.

Popery
A derogatory term for Roman Catholics often used by Puritans to denote the idea that the Pope is a tyrant.

Presbyterian
A branch of Protestant Christianity which is governed by councils of elders. Presbyterian theology emphasises the sovereignty of God, the authority of the Scriptures, and the necessity of grace through faith in Christ.

Prophet
An individual who has claimed to have been contacted by the supernatural or the divine, and speaks for them, serving as an intermediary with humanity.

Protestant
A member or follower of any of the Western Christian churches that are separate from the Roman Catholic Church.

Pulpit
A raised platform or lectern in a church or chapel from which the preacher delivers a sermon.

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Q

Quaker
A member of the Religious Society of Friends, a Christian movement founded by George Fox c.1650 and devoted to peaceful principles. Quakers believe that there is something of God in everybody and that each human being is of unique worth. Quakers seek religious truth in inner experience, and place great reliance on conscience as the basis of morality. They emphasise direct experience of God and believe that priests and rituals are an unnecessary obstruction between the believer and God.

Quoits
The Cornish name for a chambered tomb, a type of megalithic structure comprising a number of large stones set upright to support a massive horizontal capstone, forming a small chamber. Used as a communal burial site, often over tens or hundreds of years.

Qur'an
The holy book for Muslims, revealed in stages to the prophet Muhammad over 23 years.

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R

Ramadan
The month in which Muslims fast every day from sunrise to sunset.

Religious Society of Friends
Also known as the Quakers, a Christian movement founded by George Fox c.1650 and devoted to peaceful principles. Quakers believe that there is something of God in everybody and that each human being is of unique worth. Quakers seek religious truth in inner experience, and place great reliance on conscience as the basis of morality. They emphasise direct experience of God and believe that priests and rituals are an unnecessary obstruction between the believer and God.

Reformation
A 16th-century movement in Western Europe that aimed at reforming some doctrines and practices of the Roman Catholic Church and resulted in the establishment of the Protestant churches.

Regency Council
A Council which rules on behalf of a monarch who is too young, absent or disabled.

Relic
A relic is an object or a personal item of religious significance, for instance the bones of a venerated person or their belongings e.g. staff, bell etc.

Renunciation
Most broadly, renunciation (in Buddhism) can be understood as a letting go of whatever binds us to ignorance and suffering. It is most often used to describe the act of a monk or nun going forth into a homeless life.

Rescusant
Term used to refer to those who remained within the Catholic Church and did not attend services of the Church of England.

Revival
Revivals are seen as the restoration of believers to the church after a period of decline.

Roman Catholic
A member of the Catholic Church and person who believes that the Pope, based in Rome, is the successor to Saint Peter whom Christ appointed as the first head of His church.

Rood Screen
A screen, typically of richly carved wood or stone, separating the nave from the chancel of a church.

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S

Saint
In some Christian traditions a Saint is a person who has been canonised, for example, by the Pope. However a Cornish Saint is considered to be a person who founded or inspired the foundation of Christian communities in Cornwall.

Salvation Army
An evangelical Protestant denomination of the Christian Church with a quasi-military style structure, founded in 1865, in the East End of London, by William Booth

Secular
Denoting attitudes, activities, or other things that have no religious or spiritual basis.

See
The place in which a cathedral church stands, identified as the seat of authority of a bishop or archbishop.

Shabbat
Shabbat is the Jewish day of rest and is observed from a few minutes before sunset on Friday evening until the appearance of three stars in the sky on Saturday night.

Siddartha Gautama
Also known as the Buddha. A spiritual teacher from the Indian subcontinent on whose teachings Buddhism was founded.

Solstice
Either of the two times in the year, the summer solstice and the winter solstice, when the sun reaches its highest or lowest point in the sky.

Spriggan
Creatures in Cornish folklore, sometimes described as ugly and malicious and held responsible for misfortunes and hauntings.

Synod
An ecclesiastical (church-related) gathering for discussions and decisions on matters relating to faith, morals, or discipline.

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T

Tea Treat
In the early nineteenth century non-conformist chapel culture introduced the Tea Treat to meet the community need for social events and provide an alternative to entertainments associated with bawdiness and intemperance. They were held in the summer time and often linked to a significant date in the local calendar, sometimes an historic feast or saints day. They embraced traditional dances and games and were the medium by which many of these survived in living memory to the present day.

Tonsure
The cutting or shaving of hair as a sign of faith or religious commitment. In Christianity, the Roman tradition of a monk shaving the crown of his head and the Celtic tradition of a monk shaving his head from ear to ear.

Thomas Cranmer
Thomas Cranmer (1489 to 1556) was a leader of the English Reformation and Archbishop of Canterbury during the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI and, for a short time, Mary I. He also edited the original versions of the Book of Common Prayer.

Transept
In a cross-shaped church, either of the two parts forming the arms of the cross shape, projecting at right angles from the nave.

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U

Unitarians
Unitarianism grew out of the Protestant Reformation. Early Unitarians felt that the language of the Bible spoke clearly of "one God" and rejected the doctrine of the Trinity.

United Reform Churches
A Protestant denomination formed in 1972 by the union of the Presbyterian Church of England and the Congregational Church in England and Wales.

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W

Wiccan
Wicca is a Neopagan religion drawing on traditions of and perceptions of witchcraft. It was developed in England during the first half of the 20th century and was introduced to the public in 1952 by Gerald Gardner, a retired British civil servant.

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Z

Zen
Zen is a school of Mahayana Buddhism that originated in China during the C6th before spreading to Vietnam, Korean and Japan.

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