What is Church Recording?
Church Recorders set out to discover and document forgotten and hidden heritage in churches which are under threat from break-ins and theft, lack of awareness of what they possess, and lack of money to care for what they own .
For the past 30 years Church Recorders have been helping to deal with at least some of these problems, so far in over 1000 churches.
When the Church Record is completed, copies are lodged with:
• the church
• the diocesan or other local archives
• Church Buildings Council
• Victoria and Albert Museum
• National Monuments Record Centre
Who are Church Recorders?
Members of the Arts Society who have an interest in preserving important artefacts and providing archival material for future researchers. They are not necessarily experts in any particular subject but are willing to learn and increase their expertise.
• the church authorities who have a complete furnishing record
• the police who use our accurate description and photographs to identify retrieved stolen artefacts
• Insurance companies who use our Records to identify items
• Researchers who are producing theses and books on allied subjects
• Our volunteers who make friends and have a lot of fun!!
One of the Church Recorders explains
One of the great joys of walking into a church is the expectation of discovering a little piece of history or an object of originality and fascination. These can vary from a piece of heraldry complex in its signs and symbols, waiting to be unravelled by the cognoscenti, to a memorial gruesomely embellished with a grinning skull to remind us of life’s fragility. Often churches contain smaller objects of great age or beauty the remnants of devotion and benefaction from centuries past which, these days, must be locked away to protect them from casual handling or evil intent. Church recording is therefore a wonderful way of playing detective and of getting to grips with a church’s treasures and secret life. It is one of the charms of church recording that no stone goes unturned - textiles, silverware, lighting, memorials, woodwork, paintings and books - all are given equal weight so that historians of the future can get a detailed picture of the accumulated objects of worship and usefulness that a 21st century church needed. The value of these records lies in the consistency and rigour of the descriptive entries and the final result becomes part of the national record.
London Area and Church Recording
At the present time societies in the Greater London Area are involved in Church Recording in 4 or 5 churches; some of them in the City.
We also have members creating Church Trails, enabling families to visit churches and investigate some of the fascinating artefacts and history.
If you would like to know more, look at the website www.theartssociety.org