Church Recorders promote recognition and preservation of the rich artistic heritage in places of worship by recording the contents of churches of all religions. Participating churches are presented with an illustrated book detailing each item and its history. Copies are also sent to national institutions: the local County Records Office (or the Diocesan authorities, Church Buildings Council, Victoria and Albert Museum and the English Heritage Archives.
Church Recorders work as a team at a single local church or place of worship. In pairs, they research and document memorials, metalwork, stonework, woodwork, textiles, paintings, libraries, windows and other items.
Experienced Recorders provide training and a wide range of experts can be called upon for advice. It takes about three years to complete a Church Record and present the volume to the church or place of worship.
As well as being a source of tremendous pleasure and interest to Church Recorders and worshippers alike, Church Records serve a number of practical purposes. They are used by:
- the church authorities as a complete furnishing record
- the police, who can use the accurate descriptions and photographs to identify retrieved stolen artefacts
- Insurance companies who use the Records to identify items
- Researchers who are producing theses and books on allied subjects