The town hall and the parochial offices are the principal administrative buildings.
By this statute the term benefice is defined to mean benefice with cure of souls and no other, and therein to comprehend all parishes, perpetual curacies, donatives, endowed public chapels, parochial chapelries and chapelries or districts belonging or reputed to belong, or annexed or reputed to be annexed, to any church or chapel.
In the words of Hallam, "the slow and gradual manner in which parochial churches became independent appears to be of itself a sufficient answer to those who ascribe a great antiquity to the universal payment of tithes."
The abbey church was partly burnt in 1437, in a riot due to the monks' refusal to recognize the town's chapel of All Hallowes as the parish church, though they had restricted their use of the abbey church for parochial purposes.
The public-school system was supplemented by parochial schools which had in 1920 650 teachers and 33,000 pupils.