*  The Church Recorders Group are seeking new recruits. If you would like to be active in recording and helping to preserve our national art heritage as found inside churches then contact the group leader, Joyce Wallis   *

Christ Church, Radlett

Welwyn Garden church recorders presented their record of Christ Church, Radlett, at a morning service on Sunday 4th September 2016.

The church has a fine set of stained glass windows and some beautifully embroidered banners.

There is also a sprightly model of a donkey, sturdy enough to be ridden, which visits parishioners’ homes in the run-up to Christmas each year in memory of the Virgin Mary’s journey to Bethlehem.

The next project for the recorders will be Holy Trinity, Little Amwell – a much smaller church situated at Hertford Heath near Hertford.

If you would like to join in this absorbing and worthwhile activity contact the group leader, Joyce Wallis.

New members are badly needed, particularly anyone with a special interest in or knowledge of embroidery and textiles.

All Saints, Datchworth

The church recorders presented their record of Parish Church of All Saints, Datchworth at a family service on Sunday 27 April 2014.

There are two contemporary stained glass windows in the church by local artist Maria Glenn, one showing all five churches in the team ministry - St. Mary’s, Welwyn; St. Michael’s, Woolmer Green; St. Peter’s, Ayot St. Peter; All Saints, Datchworth and St. Peter’s, Tewin - as the branches of a vine.

The other window is an abstract rendering of The Light of the World.

This window occupies the position of the former north door which was bricked up in the early 19th century because it enabled worshippers to slip out to a pub in the churchyard without being seen by the parson!

St Mary, Stapleford

In 2012 the record of the Parish Church of St Mary, Stapleford was presented. This completed the group’s recording of all the churches in that benefice – Brampton, Watton-at-Stone and Waterford being the other three.

We are seeking new recruits. If you would like to be active in recording and helping to preserve our national art heritage as found inside churches then contact the group leader, Joyce Wallis.

St Michael and All Angels, Waterford

In 2011 we recorded the Parish Church of St Michael and All Angels, Waterford which is famous for its pre-Raphelite stained-glass windows from the William Morris factory and outstanding mosaics.

The image is of the prophetess Miriam in a window by Edward Burne-Jones.

St Andrew and St Mary , Watton-at-Stone

The Church Record of the Parish Church of St Andrew and St Mary at Watton-at-Stone was presented by Welwyn Garden DFAS Church recorders in September 2010.

Leader of the Group, Joyce Wallis commented: "There were some real challenges in the form of floor memorials hidden under heavy chests, and a narrow winding stairway leading up to the roof which had to be explored in order to record doors!

The recording and photographing of a clock mechanism posed another challenge as it was squeezed in against a wall in the bell chamber and could only be accessed by a narrow metal ladder".

Welwyn Garden DFAS Church Recorders group presenting the Record at Watton-at-Stone

Presenting the Record at the church of St Andrew & St Mary, Watton-at-Stone in September 2010.

There are 10 members in the group, meeting in the church we are recording on Tuesday mornings, working in pairs to complete descriptions of everything from the kneelers to the organ. Research is conducted into the provenance of items and photographs taken.

The completed record is presented to the church with copies going to the V&A art library and the Historic England Archive.

How Does Church Recording Work?

Church Recorders work as part of a team, choosing a single local church to record and then working in pairs on different sections of the church furnishings: memorials, metalwork, stonework, woodwork, textiles, paintings, library, windows and miscellaneous.

Training is given by experienced recorders and help is available from a wide range of experts with whom we share our discoveries.

Who benefits?

  • the church authorities who have a complete furnishing record
  • the police who use our accurate descriptions and photographs to identify retrieved stolen artifacts
  • Insurance companies who use our Records to identify items
  • Researchers who are producing theses and books on allied subjects
  • Stained glass window at Christ Church, Radlett, where the Record was presented on 4 September 2016

    Presenting the record at All Saints, Datchworth in April 2014

    Portrayal of St Margaret in the east window
    at St Margaret's, Ridge

    Who are Church Recorders?

    Church Recorders are NADFAS volunteers who make records of the contents of our national churches, thereby promoting the recognition and preservation of the rich artistic heritage to be found in places of worship of all religions. The items are described in detail and their history researched. All the material is then compiled into a book illustrated with photographs and drawings. This is presented to the church and copies are sent to the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Historic England Archive, the local County Records Office and the Church Buildings Council.

    Welwyn Garden DFAS Church Recorders

    • Welwyn Garden church recorders have been compiling records of the furnishings of local parish churches since 1983 with a total of 18 churches recorded by the end of 2012.

    • The Record of St Giles, Codicote was presented on Sunday November 25th 2008, and subsequently St Margaret's, Ridge was recorded

    • In 2000 the Welwyn Garden Church Recorders won an award for the best record compiled in the millenium year - this was the Record of St Mary's, Welwyn

    Contact for Welwyn Garden DFAS Church Recorders:
    Mrs Joyce Wallis,
    15 Hatherleigh Gardens,
    Potters Bar EN6 5HZ
    tel: 01707 850803

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