Information for Parishes

Caring for Parish Records

It is vitally important that a parish maintain accurate and clear records. The Churchwardens should ensure that sufficient and adequate records and files are being kept to ensure that future Churchwardens can continue the work of the parish. The files and records (including financial) should be kept at the church and not by individual members of the parish. For more information about retention of parish records, see the Parish Records Retention Guidelines. Parishes should also consider the management of electronic records.

Sending parish records to Diocesan Archives

Parishes are required by the Diocese’s collections guidelines to send certain records to the Diocesan Archives. These records may be divided into three categories: parish registers, financial and business records, and parochial records.

The archives will consider for deposit and retention any parish records that conform to the Collections Guidelines. The conditions of deposit are outlined in the transfer agreement, which donors are asked to read and sign. Once materials have been deposited in the archives, the archives will provide access and loan items to parishes for displays, etc., provided the conditions of the loan agreement are fulfilled. For more information about access to records in the diocesan archives, see the Access Policy or contact archives staff.

Bibles and prayer books

Parishes may own outdated bibles and prayer books, which are often ornate or have been donated to the church, and therefore seem too precious to dispose of. However, unless the book has a specific quality and clearly conforms to the Collections Guidelines, it will not be considered suitable for retention by the Archives. For more information, see the diocese’s Policy on Memorial Gifts to Parish Churches.