Was Henry’s new Church really that different to what came before?

By 1537, Henry had successfully broken from Rome and had created his own Church of England. What did this mean for Christianity in England? Was it really all that different to the Roman Catholic Church that had come before?

You can download the worksheet for today’s lesson here. If you cannot download the worksheet, complete the tasks as set out in the yellow boxes below.

Monastery = A building where monks and nuns could live their lives according to the Roman Catholic faith.
Dissolution = The act of ending something.
Monk = A Catholic man that devoted their life to God.
Nun = A Catholic woman that devoted their life to God.

Let’s quickly recap the differences between Protestantism and Catholicism once more. Answer the quiz below to decide which beliefs are Protestant and which beliefs are Catholic. Make sure you check your answers!

TASK ONE: How did Henry change the Church in England?

Watch the video below and answer the following questions as you are watching:
1) What book did Anne Boleyn give Henry VIII? What was its main argument?
2) What did Henry VIII do to the abbeys and monasteries in England?
4) What do you think a ‘land-grab’ means? How would this help Henry?
5) What changes happened in the churches under Henry?

TASK TWO: What changes did Henry make to the Church in England?

Look at the table below that explains the changes Henry VIII made to the Church throughout his reign.
Decide whether each change was a Protestant idea, a Catholic idea or a bit of both.
Explain why Henry made these changes in the last column.

TASK THREE: Was Henry’s Church just Catholic without a Pope?

Some historians have argued that Henry actually made very little change to the Church of England. They have argued that Henry’s Church was ‘Catholic without a Pope’.

What do you believe? Place an X on the line below and write a short paragraph explaining why you have placed your X there.


1) Have a clear point/argument: Henry VIII’s church was just Catholic without a Pope/very Catholic/very Protestant.

2) Have detailed evidence: Use 2 pieces of evidence from the table above to back up your point.

3) Explain why your evidence shows it was Catholic without a Pope or not: Use connectives (e.g. This shows, Therefore) to explain why you have made your argument.

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