This is a fascinating voluntary activity by The Arts Society members who enjoy recording details of the internal fabrics and furnishings of churches of all denominations so preserving their artistic heritage. It includes thoroughly researching documents which may have lain unseen for many years. Finally, when every item has been recorded, described and indexed, an illustrated book is produced which is presented to the church and copies given to the V&A Art Library, the Church Care Library, the Historic England Archive and the County Records Office. 

The record can be very useful in cases of crime and for insurance matters, as well as being used by church architects and planners.


The record for Holton St Mary was presented to a small but enthusiastic congregation in June.  Work continues at Preston St Mary, a larger church with many interesting features, including a very rare coat of arms for Elizabeth I.  A memorial ledger stone inscription has got us busy: we have a translation now, but in the course of this one researcher found that the same inscription had been used in a church in Naples.  If anyone recognises the poem, shown below, do get in touch with Sarah Roper on,  It is always nice for the team to feel they have the support and interest of the Society as a whole, and many hands make light work.


In cinere~ [=cinerem] cuncti redeunt, primaeque parenti

   Quod tulit, assignat, mortua facta caro

Tunc aurum, stultos, tunc quisque reliquit honores

   Et quos in toto tempore iunxit opes.

Ergo animis mansura piis coeloque petamus,

   Mentibus ex nostris sit procul omne fugax.


Photo:  The Rev. Rosalind Paul and Sarah Roper