Aluminat Decency

The church plays an important role in defining middle class social conventions throughout our period. To the aspiring middle classes, respectability is of the utmost importance. Religious piety is an important feature of the respectable image. Part of this attitude is somewhat farcical — ecclesiastic practice in our period is quite mercenary. A wealthy family may find itself favored by the church due to its wealth, rather than to its knowledge of, or acts of, Aluminat grace.

The church does not separate races within its churches, but the different social classes do have separate pews, with nobility at the front, then the middle class, and the working class standing or sitting at the back. In an urban environment, it is rare to find a church with all these sections allocated, as many churches are built or kept open purely to collect money — not a viable proposition in a working-class area.

Among well-meaning philanthropists of the period, there is a growing concern that the working classes live beyond the grace of Aluminat society, and a belief that churches should be established in poor areas for the proletariat. In the majority of areas, these voices go unheard. However, there are quite a few people that rather like the idea of the classes worshiping not only in separate pews, but in separate churches.