Who are we?

We are called Chichester Combined Church Recorders because members of our group come from all three Chichester societies. There are ten of us at the moment but if you are interested having read this piece we are a very friendly group and new members are always welcome. You don’t need to know lots about churches. You just have to have an interest in history, enjoy trying to find the right words to describe objects and a determination to track down their age and how they came to be in the church in the first place. We meet twice a month at the church and also spend time on research and writing up our findings to the exacting standards of the Arts Society.  It is fascinating and rewarding work.

Why was Church Recording first started?

In the Spring of 1971 the Victoria and Albert Museum, aware of the vulnerability of the contents of many historic churches to damage and loss asked NADFAS if their members would help produce a detailed record of the inside of such churches local to the various NADFAS groups. NADFAS agreed to this suggestion and to date this cooperation has been very successful. The first request by the police now, if anything disappears from a church, is to ask if the church has been recorded.

What exactly is a Record?

Church Recorders produce inventories of the contents of places of worship, describing items and exploring their history. They record memorials, metalwork, stonework, textiles, paintings, libraries, windows, and miscellaneous items.  Once completed the Church Record is presented in book form to the church. Other copies are presented to the County Record Office, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Council for the Care of Churches and the National Monuments Record.

Which Churches has our group recorded?

Our first was the Church of St Peter, Westhampnett. We were then asked by the Bishop of Chichester if we would make a Record of the Bishop’s Chapel in the Bishop’s Palace Chichester. This Record is rather special as it is the only Record of a Bishop’s Palace Chapel in England. In 2014 we completed the record of the beautiful little Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Apuldram and then moved on to record the charming Chapel of St Mary’s, Sennicotts. In early 2016 work began at the church of St Peter and St Mary, Fishbourne and the record is expected to be completed in 2019.  Work has already begun on the next church, St George's Whyke.

Want to find out more?

Contact Jennifer Woolfrey, Group Joint Leader, Tel 01243 530745 or email