We do not have a Church Recording team of our own at present, but Samlesbury and neighbouring society, Ribble and Craven now work together as one team. Jeremy Rycroft is the leader of this joint team and if anyone is interesting in joining, then he would be very pleased to hear from you. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and telephone number 01772 782150. Their latest project is St. Mary’s Church, Mellor. They meet on first and third Tuesdays.
Church Recording was set up 40 years ago by some-one called John Pope-Hennesy who was a director of the V&A Museum and later the British Museum. He was also a trustee of NADFAS. He was concerned as an Art Historian, that the structure and contents of Britain’s great Cathedrals was recorded and written about, but that the same could not be said for Britain’s Parish Churches. He felt Parish Church’s contained a wealth of important elements of Britain’s Art History and that it should be recorded somehow. He used his role in NADFAS to persuade the organisation to do this work on a voluntary basis. Hundreds of Churches have since been recorded and the Bishop of London has been a big supporter of the Programme.
Once completed, the Record of a Church has very limited circulation; one copy is held by the Church; one by the Diocese; one by The Arts Society House, not by the local society; one by the V & A Museum; and one by English Heritage. They have a practical use for the Church, as a basis for recording the fabric, potentially useful in repairs and insurance claims. Through The Arts Society House or the V & A or English Heritage, they can also be made available to bona fide scholars who are studying aspects of Church Art. For instance,a number of studies have been done into Stained Glass windows and their manufacturers. Sometimes we have identified items of an importance, that the Church was unaware of, e.g. a 16th Century Communion Cup, but that is a rare event.
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