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ADFAS Church Recording

Throughout the years churches have been a source of history and beauty. Often the earliest buildings in an area, they have had the most continuity of use, and have become repositories of records and memorials, objects of great beauty and significance, as well as the more practical tools of regular usage.


Treasures to be found in stained glass

This is an activity in which a variety of skills are required, where interest and satisfaction are virtually guaranteed, and where there is a wealth of knowledge to be discovered. If you know of a church with neighborhood significance, consider a Church Recording project. Even if you cannot save the building, you can ensure the preservation of information and meanings which rest within the church walls.

When a project is set up, very practical and clear guidelines are provided in The Church Recorders' Handbook about the process, and trained advisors are always ready to help and advise. Recorders usually work in pairs, and they will record the description, dimensions, history, inscriptions and age of every single item within the walls of the church. Stained glass windows, carved pulpits, silver chalices, beautifully embroidered vestments, and old bibles are only some of the objects to be examined, measured and described, and photographed.


Volunteer church recorders at work

Once the objects are recorded, the information is collated and entered onto computer, and the n checked for accuracy. Then after printing and binding, copies of the record are produced for the church, for ADFAS and for the National Library.

These days, it is not uncommon to find deconsecrated church buildings transformed into luxury homes and apartments, or, in the country, falling into disrepair along the highways. It becomes more and more important to make records of the church, of its records and history. So many details of community life are reflected in the contents of churches, whether they are cathedrals or private chapels, at schools, or in towns and cities, and on country properties. ADFAS Church Recording aims to ensure that there is a permanent record of the churches which will be available for research and posterity.


Church paintings by Godfrey Rivers

For information about volunteering on ADFAS Church Recording projects email churchrecording@adfas.org.au