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The interiors of our churches contain a wealth of beautiful and fascinating artefacts, often of historical interest. Until The Arts Society (NADFAS) Church Recorders were established in 1973 no complete or central records of church artefacts existed. The aim of Church Recorders is to provide an accurate and complete inventory of the church’s contents with detailed descriptions, measurements, background and photographs.

How is this achieved?

A team of volunteers work in a local church. Records follow a standard strict format so researchers can easily find what they are seeking. They are divided into nine categories: memorials, metalwork, stonework, woodwork, textiles, paintings, library, windows and miscellaneous. Recorders usually work in pairs on one or more of these sections. The final record is then compiled with photographs. When the Church Record is completed copies are distributed to: - the church - the diocese - Council for the Care of Churches - Victoria & Albert Museum - National Monuments Record Centre

Who can be a Church Recorder?

Anyone with an interest and enthusiasm. Training is given by experienced Church Recorders and help is available from a wide range of experts, reference works, internet and study days.

Current work

Bywell St. Andrew’s Having completed the work in Bywell St. Peter’s our volunteers are now working with The Arts Society Hexham  on the neighbouring church of Bywell St Andrew’s. The Group Leader is John McCollum (Chairman of Hexham DFAS. Good progress is being made and a large proportion of the on-site recording has been completed . If you would like to be involved in this very important work please contact us and we will put you in touch with the relevant people.

Previous work

Bywell St. Peter’s The group worked on Bywell St.Peter’s over the course of five years. The completed record is an impressive piece of work and was presented to the church during a Communion Service in September 2012. Copies were given to the County Records Office, Council for Church Buildings, English Heritage and the Victoria and Albert Museum. The Arts Society Tyneside  own a copy of the record and is available for members to see if they wish.