Category: Church Recording Closed Down

This post category is used to group all Church Recording posts.

After almost six years of recording, the task is now completed. Originally set up by Jill Harris in 2011, the current team of seven are to be congratulated for their painstaking work which has culminated in the production of a superb record which will be treasured by posterity.

Jill de Bretton-Gordon      Helen Oakes      Felicity Mc Swiney

Belinda Wentworth           Maggie Blather   Pat Gee

Diana Stephens  

The team was assisted by Frances Moule, Judy Heron, Trish Johnson – and names from the past, Rosie Roberts, Liz Hamilton, photographer Andy Newton, Leon Sparrow and many others.

The record, beautifully- bound in dark blue leather with gold lettering, was handed to St. Mary’s Church at a service of Holy Communion on Sunday 16th February 2020 by the Chairman, Mrs Sheila Williams.


The Arts Society (formerly known as NADFAS) has always been known for its wonderful work on Church Recording.  That is, recording everything inside a particular Church, from floor to ceiling and eventually producing large illustrated books detailing each item and its history.  These volumes are then presented to various institutions, for example if it is an Anglican Church in England, one volume will be presented to the participating Church, one to the local  County or Diocesan Records Office which holds the diocesan archive, one to Church Care, one to the Victoria and Albert Museum Art Library and another to Historic England Archives.

These books are incredibly useful for researchers, historians, insurance companies and the police trying to identify stolen items, but also of much interest to Church Recorders and worshippers.

The work can be fascinating at times and quite a bit of detective work can be involved trying to discover if an item is original or whether an item has been painted over or renovated incorrectly. Just trying to read some items written in different forms of language can be an interesting challenge.

At our Blackmore Vale Branch of The Arts Society we have a small group of people who are always happy to welcome anyone who is interested in their work to find out more about it.  Having completed the records of St. Mary’s Church in Sturminster Newton, at the moment the group is just starting on the recording of St. Peter’s Church, Hinton St. Mary and two committee members, Penny Brentnall and Jill  Harris went along to see the group in action.  Although we only had a short time with the group it was a most enjoyable visit and a small insight into this very important contribution that the group make.

  It was fascinating to see the great detail that the group go into and how they work together to try and solve various conundrums.  The group carry out their work, a couple of hours at a time, mostly during the warmer months of the year for obvious reasons!

Penny Brentnall


Pat Gee and Felicity MacSwiney

                                                                              One of the many stained glass windows at St. Peter’s Hinton St. Mary 

                                               A quick sketch of the window made by Frances Moule before work begins


Mrs Marion Honnywill presented the completed Church Records of Silton Church to the Churchwardens (see above). The church is kept open – a note on the table inside the door explaining the accessibility of the Record.

Church Recording

The Blackmore Vale Church Recording group re-formed in October 2012 under the leadership of Pat Gee and Felicity MacSwiney.  We started recording the Sturminster Newton Parish Church using the expertise of Frances Moule, who is the Area Representative for The Arts Society Church Recording. The team have now finished recording the Memorials, windows and stonework, and have now moved onto woodwork.. New volunteers are always welcome.  We meet each Thursday at 10 a.m. for a couple of hours EXCEPT for the Thursday of the Arts Society Blackmore Vale monthly meeting.