Arts Society, Bowdon, Church Recording Team

“An Arts Society Church Record ensures that the identities of skillful and imaginative craftsmen are preserved for future generations. [Recording] is an enterprise which is significant not only for church members and scholars, but to the community at large.” The Rt Rev Richard Charteris, Bishop of London.    


At Bowdon, we are justly proud of our history of Church Recording . In 1985, the team undertook the Herculean task of making a record of Manchester Cathedral, a record that is still held in very high esteem today. Since then, Church Records have  included St Mary’s Church, Bowdon, St Peter’s Chapel, Tabley, St Mary’s Church, Rostherne and we are in the process of producing records for Hale Unitarian Chapel and St James’ Church, Gatley

What is Church Recording?

  • We make an accurate record of the contents of the church, describing items and exploring their history.
  • We include Memorials, Metalwork, Stonework, Textiles, Paintings, Windows, Library and Miscellaneous.
  • We are strictly non denominational
  • The record does not contain any narrative or subjective commentary on the items.
  • We do not record any items outside the church.

What are the advantages of a Record?

  • The Church has a complete record of all furnishings.
  • In case of any theft, the police can use the photographs and details descriptions to identify any stolen or recovered artefacts.
  • The record can be used by anyone researching the church history and artefacts.

The record takes a considerable amount of time and effort by our dedicated teams. Each record is meticulously checked for accuracy and enhanced by some wonderful photographs by our long term photographer, Ron Pollard. Our Record of St Mary’s Church, Rostherne, was finally completed after nearly 8 years in the making, and various administrative and personal obstacles. We presented the Record to the Church on November 21st 2021, presenting copies to the Church and the Diocesan Records Office.

It was sad that the Arts Society announced some time ago that it would no longer support Church recording.  However, The Arts Society Bowdon Committee  kindly agreed to continue support for the current team to complete the records in progress.

We are extremely grateful to the Clergy and Churchwardens of our Recorded Churches for their enthusiasm and support for our teams (and patience!) And my personal thanks goes to all the members of our Church Recording Teams, past and present for their dedication and hard work. 

Gwynneth Bellman is the Group's leader.

Currently, the group is concentrating on completing its record of Hale Chapel .  Then it is hoped to continue the record being made at St. James' Gatley.