The Kendal Project

The Kendal Project explored religious pluarlity in the market town Kendal situated at the south-eastern entrance to the English Lake District. Towards the end of the 1990s three academics at Lancaster University, Paul Heelas and Linda Woodhead of the Department of Religious Studies, and Bronislaw Szerszynski of the Institute for Environment, Philosophy and Public Policy, decided to use Kendal as the location for the first locality study of the sacred in Britain.


The team of the Kendal Project attended services and other church events regularly, interviewed many church members about the meaning of their faith in their lives, and distributed a questionnaire in each of the case study churches. Besides this, the team mapped the holistic milieu by associational activities taking place beyond the congregational domain. A questionnaire was administered to facilitators and participants of all those associational activities which appeared to involve subjective-life spirituality.

Additionally, a street survey was designed. The goal of the street survey was to investigate the vast majority who do not go to church or get involved in any alternative spiritual activities. A small area in Kendal was selected, with a wide range of different types of housing, for a door-to-door survey. Semi-structured interviews were used to elicit people’s beliefs, and information about their religious and spiritual backgrounds and practices. Find more information on the methods and findings on the project's website.