In 1971 the V&A Museum suggested the forming of groups of trained and resourced volunteers to record the wealth of artefacts in churches and religious buildings. This means things which for their art, craftsmanship, history or social importance are such significant heritage that they should be nationally researched and recorded.
The beneficiaries are national and local archives, researchers, writers, historians, churches and church authorities of all denominations, church supporting organisations and members of the public.
Our 50,000+ religious buildings are the largest holder of important artefacts, many of which are inadequately researched and recorded.
A Church Recording Group, by arrangement with a church, produces a Church Record of a church. This is a book divided into 8 Sections (Memorials, Metalwork, Stonework, Woodwork, Textiles, Paintings, Library, Windows and Miscellaneous) in which all objects having a significance are described in detail and photographed. The description includes information about artists, craftsmen, designers, makers and social and historic background. The Recorders are trained, Church Recording Society provides comprehensive resources and the assistance of national and local experts. The books are produced in printed and digital formats. Copies are held by the V&A National LIbrary, ChurchCare and equivalent church authorities, Historic England, Local Record Offices and by the recorded church.
Church Recording has been running for 50 years, formerly under NADFAS and since 2021 under Church Recording Society CIO, a charity of which all Recorders are the members.