Alistair Beecher

DPhil in English Local History


Keeping the Faith: Church and Community in Alresford c.1780-c.1939

Research abstract

The 1851 religious census revealed Alresford to be a particular stronghold of the Church of England. This thesis looks at how the established Church developed and maintained its dominance in this part of rural Hampshire, in the context of both an increasingly confident challenge from Nonconformity and waning religious commitment nationally. Particular themes examined in this local setting include the close integration of church and parish elites, the lack of senior sponsorship for Nonconformity, and the leadership, style and connections of successive Anglican incumbents.


Dr Mark Smith


I recently retired as a tax partner at one of the large professional service firms in London and started studying history at the Department for Continuing Education in 2010. After completing the postgraduate certificate in historical studies and the MSc in English Local History I began my DPhil in 2013 and am a member of Harris Manchester college. My previous academic studies were in accountancy and business with a particular research interest in financial ratio distributions, but I am now studying history purely for pleasure and to stretch myself intellectually.

Research interests

Modern Church history


Secularisation of society