Most people in the Middle Ages lived their lives fully believing in the reality of a spiritual realm all around them and in heaven or hell when they died. At this time, the people of the British Isles were Roman Catholic and the majority of people strongly believed in this religion and its values.
In the Middle Ages, the Church provided for the religious aspects of people's lives – baptism of babies, marriages, confession, the last rites for the dying and burying the dead.
But the Church did much more than this:
Monasteries and nunneries looked after the old and sick, provided somewhere for travellers to stay, gave alms to the poor and sometimes looked after people's money for them.
Monks could often read and write when many other people could not, so they copied books and documents and taught children.
Monasteries often had libraries.
Church festivals and saints' days were 'holy days', when people didn't have to work.
The Church put on processions and 'miracle plays'.
The Church played a big part in government:
Bishops sat in the House of Lords.
They could raise an army for the king in times of war.