Functions: nowadays churches are voluntary, spiritual/ religious institutions. The English church then was a public institution of which everyone was by law a member; it was wealthy; it had its own laws and system of courts.
People were required to attend their local parish church on Sundays and holy days.
The church controlled education at the universities (though not at the Inns of Court).
The church had courts, which punished people fro religious offenses (e.g. heresy), moral offences (drunkenness; fornication; adultery), and had jurisdiction over last wills and testaments, and marriage.
The most feared church court (from Elizabeth’s time on to 1641) was the High Commission, which had power to fine and imprison.
The Church 04
High Commission was especially disliked in the 1630s, under William Laud; oath ex officio.
Other church courts could excommunicate (which had civil consequences).
England became increasingly tolerant in religion in the 1600s;
But c. 1600 most people thought toleration was foolish and immoral.