Introduction to Church Recording

Anglican Chrch of St Thomas Becket in Hamburg

The British Decorative and Fine Arts Society of Hamburg e.V (BRIDFAS) started a Church Record of the Anglican Church of St Thomas Becket in Hamburg in late 2014. It is a joint project with volunteers from within the church community and members of BRIDFAS.

NADFAS has been carrying out Church Recording for around 40 years in the UK and has catalogued in excess of 1600 churches. Groups of volunteers work in small groups making a record of the church interior, including furnishings, memorials, metalwork, paintings, silver, windows and other articles. The work involves photography, research and producing a comprehensive inventory for posterity of the interior and fabric of the church. These records are then sent to the designated County Records Office, the Cathedral and Church Buildings Council and the Victoria and Albert Museum Art Library, to name a few.

Volunteers, who report back to BRIDFAS periodically, run the project and because it is voluntary there is no time limit and people can be involved as and when they have time. No special skills or experience are required. Some of the records have revealed valuable treasures, such as a King James I Bible and a valuable wardrobe of copes and vestments, hidden behind a 14th century wooden door. Insurance companies also welcome Church Recording as a catalogued record aids their task in the event of a theft.

In the last quarter of 2014, the volunteers got together to plan what areas of the church interior they would record and a Church Recording expert from NADFAS in London came over to give two days training to the volunteers in the church and the project was finally launched. The project had the full blessing of the Chaplain, Revd Matthew Jones (since returned to Australia). We hope that this action will not only raise awareness of the artistic heritage within the church, but will be both a social and fun project for people to be involved in.

Link to Anglican Church of St Thomas Becket

Pat Pledger and the Church Recording Team