Church Recorders

About the Sherborne Arts Society Church Recorders

Sherborne Church Recording Group, having recorded Dorset Churches for some years and then ceased temporarily, re-formed about nine years ago and has since recorded the churches at Poyntington, Longburton, Castleton, Purse Caundle, and is currently recording Folke.

Church Recorders throughout Great Britain make a comprehensive record of everything that is found inside a church and anything that is attached to the outside of the building, for example, lanterns, weather vanes, and in the case of Castleton, a memorial. The church is divided into nine sections for recording purposes, and the records are made using a particular format, illustrated with drawings and photographs.

A finished record is a complete inventory of the church, including as much as we can find out of the history behind the furnishings, and, we’re told, appreciated by the Ecclesiastical Insurers!

When a record is complete and has been checked and re-checked, it is printed and presented to the church as a bound copy. Other copies are sent to the Dorset History Centre, the V&A, the CBC Library and the NMRC.

We are lucky in our group to have several artists, a designated photographer, and a number of members who are interested in ferretting out the history behind different objects, and importantly, two members who are incredibly computer literate when it comes to the final compilation. So far, we have discovered, among other things, a Black Letter Bible of 1634, an interesting local family history, and a floor slab dedicated to a husband and wife whose bodies have long since been removed elsewhere and four totally unrelated bodies put in their place!

The group is entirely voluntary and meets at the current church on Thursday mornings from 10-12.30 ( including a coffee break!) from April to the end of November. We have found that churches are far too cold to work in during the winter months. We have run training courses, and The Arts Society Head Office organises many interesting training days round the country. At present our group is 16 strong, with an average of 10 attending in any one week. We can always do with more members if you are interested.