Church Recording was started by the Victoria & Albert Museum in 1971 when they realised that churches were being vandalised or made redundant with no proper register of their contents, and that precious items were being dispersed with no way of tracing them. Since that time, nearly 200 Arts Society Church Recording Groups have been set up throughout the British Isles and over 1500 churches have been recorded, out of approximately 14,000. Copies of completed records are held by the church itself, the County Record Office, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Council for the Care of Churches and the National Monuments Record.  A church record is a very detailed inventory with the contents of the church broken down into nine sections: Memorials, Metalwork, Stonework, Woodwork, Library, Textiles, Paintings, Windows and Miscellaneous. Ideally, each group is large enough to have two people working on each section, as well as a photographer, under a Group Leader. Every item inside the church is described, measured, photographed and researched for its material, designer, maker, donor and history, and references are given for the information collected.  Although this all sounds as if Church Recorders need to be very knowledgeable, in fact most of us start off knowing very little, and learn as we go along. It is also fascinating to discover the amazing artefacts in our local village churches and the history behind them, and we find that visiting other churches becomes more interesting once we know what we are looking at.  To date, our society has recorded around a dozen churches with another being checked by our Area Representative.

We have been busy this year recording St Andrew's Church in Hurstbourne Priors.  The last details of this record are now being finalised before being sent to our Area Representative.

If you would like more information about Church Recording, please click here.

New members:‚Äč join The Arts Society Test Valley to help with our Church Recording activities.