Church Recording

The process

Church Recorders are The Art Society volunteers who make records of the contents of our national churches, thereby promoting the recognition and preservation of the rich artistic heritage to be found therein. The items are described in detail and their history researched. All the material is then compiled into a book illustrated with photographs and drawings. This is presented to the church, and copies are sent to national institutions.

Church Recorders work as part of a team, choosing a single local church to record and then working in pairs on different sections of the church furnishings: memorials, metalwork, stonework, woodwork, textiles, paintings, library, windows and miscellaneous.

Church Floor Plan
Floor Plan in a Record


When a Church Record is completed of an Anglican Church in England, a copy is lodged with:

  • the church
  • the local County Records Office (or the Diocesan authorities)
  • Council for the Care of Churches
  • Victoria and Albert Museum
  • National Monuments Record Centre

Comparable arrangements are made for Records of churches of other denominations and of churches elsewhere in the UK.

Who benefits?

  • the church authorities who have a complete furnishing record
  • the police who use our accurate descriptions and photographs to identify retrieved stolen artefacts.
  • Insurance companies who use our Records to identify items
  • Researchers who are producing theses and books on allied subjects

Falmouth Group

We began work in October 2003 on Mawnan Parish Church. The Church Record was finished in November 2005 and was presented to the Rev. Caroline Pinchbeck at a ceremony at Mawnan Church. Among those present was the Bishop of Truro, the Rt Rev Bill Ind. Some pictures from the Mawnan recording can be seen here.

In March 2006 work began on Mabe church and the record was completed in November 2008. Some pictures from the Mabe recording can be seen here.

In January 2009 work started on the next project, Constantine Church, and the record was completed in December 2010 . Some pictures from The Constantine recording work in progress can be seen here.

Stained Glass
Stained Glass

Around June 2011 work started on what became one of the largest records undertaken by the group, KingĀ Charles the Martyr, the Parish church of Falmouth. Work was completed in December 2013 with the record being formally handed over to the church early in 2014.

In May 2014 the group started working at the Church of Saint Budock, Budock. The record was completed and formally presented to the church in July 2017.

In 2018 saw the Group start the recording of St Mylor Church, this is now completed and was officially presented to the Church in July 2021.


Training is given by experienced recorders, and help is available from a wide range of experts with whom we share our discoveries. It can take up to three years to complete a church record (although as you will see below our records were finished in a shorter time) and the sense of achievement when the finished volume is presented is matched by the delight with which it is received.