THE ARTS SOCIETY SOLIHULL

The idea of Church Recording arose in Spring 1971 when the Victoria & Albert Museum, aware of the vulnerability of the contents of many churches to damage  and loss, sought the assistance of NADFAS (now The Arts Society) members to produce detailed inventories of that heritage before it was too late.  To date, more than 1750 Church Records have been presented to churches and copies deposited in national and local archives.

A full Record divides objects into Sections entitled Memorials, Metalwork, Stonework, Woodwork, Textiles, Paintings etc, Library, Windows and Miscellaneous (which includes the organ).  Each object is described in detail in a prescribed format and may be photographed.  When possible, the description includes the object’s history checked against published information.

The principle aim of Church Recording is to produce a comprehensive Record of the heritage within churches of all denominations, thus assisting in its preservation and protection.  Archivists, researchers and academics find the Records invaluable and a  Church Record can assist in the event of loss or damage.

From the information contained in the completed Records, The Arts Society maintains a Church Records Online Index.  This includes the names of artists, manufacturers and retailers, the names of donors and those commemorated as well as the subjects of stained glass windows and wall paintings.  Access to the index is unrestricted.  It is of particular value to researchers and family historians.  The Ecclesiastical Insurance Company and the Police also make use of the index when tracking items that have been misappropriated (though, for reasons of security, items of silver, gold or other precious materials are not included in the index).

Church Recording offers the opportunity to make a contribution to preserve and enhance access to our heritage, to expand knowledge and acquire new skills.  Working in a dedicated team and collaborating with professionals when doing research gives great satisfaction and a genuine sense of achievement.

 

The Solihull Church Recording Group is suffering from a shortage of volunteers and is currently not functioning.  This is a national problem, and is not confined to Church Recording but, if you are interested in joining a Church Recording group, please contact a member of the Committee.  It may be possible to relaunch a group in Solihull.  Alternatively, there are other Church Recording groups that are operating relatively nearby, with two previous members of the Solihull group now operating with the Leamington Spa group.