The Arts Society Haslemere
HOME PROGRAMME  down arrow VOLUNTEERS  down arrow MEMBERSHIP GALLERY  down arrow CONTACT  down arrow





Church Recorders who are members of The Arts Society societies are volunteers who make records of the contents and internal fabric of our national churches. These records help to preserve the rich artistic heritage to be found in places of worship of all religions. Over the last 45 years the Arts Society has registered 1,920 similar church records throughout Great Britain, including 20 records of Surrey Churches.  Items are described in detail and their history researched. All the material is then compiled into a book, illustrated with photographs and drawings. The records are given to the church and copies are sent to national institutions including the National Monuments Record at English Heritage, The Church Buildings Council, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the relevant county record office.

CHURCH TRAILS are organised for children aged 8 – 12 as a way of encouraging them to explore a church, to learn about it and enjoy the experience, so that they are inspired to visit other churches. The Arts Society Haslemere has compiled two Church Trails to date, one at St. Christopher's Church in 2014 and one at St Bartholomew's Church in 2018.  The Trail can form the basis of an interesting family activity as well as an educational project for school visits.  The questions on the trail, which leads the participant round the church, stimulates further thought about both the church and local history.  Laminated answer sheets provide plenty of additional background information.

The launch of the second trail, at St Bartholomew's Church, took place on Wednesday 18th April at 2.00 p.m. 

The launch of the first Church Trail took place on 13th March 2014.


St. Bartholomew's church

After presenting the St Bartholomew's Church Record to the church, as described below, a second leather bound copy was presented to the Haslemere Educational Museum on Tuesday 2nd April 2019 by the Chairman of the Arts Society Haslemere, Alison Marston.  The presentation took place in the museum library at 11.00 a.m.

The record was presented to Julia Tanner, Curator of the museum.  Several members of the Arts Society Haslemere Church recording team were present, along with Trustees of the Museum including, Bernard Coe , President Emeritus, Melanie Odell, President, Chairman Alan Perry and the Rev Fiona Glynn representing the Clergy of the parish. 

The record was funded by the Arts Society Haslemere and also the Friends of the parish of St Bartholomew’s and St Christopher’s.

Following the presentation the group gathered together in the volunteers’ room for coffee, biscuits and reminiscences.

The record can be seen by appointment at the Museum or the Church.

This event was the culmination of all the recording work that has been achieved since 2011.  Carry on reading further down the page for more information about the compilation of the record and the work involved.

Presentation to the Museum 2019
Alison Marston, Chairman of the Arts Society Haslemere, presents the record to Julia Tanner, Curator, with Jane Stopford-Russell (leader of the St Bartholomew's Church Recorders) standing immediately behind them, along with some of the recorders and members of the committee.

The PRESENTATION TO THE CHURCH of the completed St Bartholomew’s Church Record took place on Sunday 27th January 2019, during Evensong at 6.00pm, at St Bartholomew’s Church, Derby Road, Haslemere.

A copy of the newly bound record was presented to the Rector, the Reverend Mary Bowden, by the group leader Jane Stopford-Russell who talked about the compiling of the record.  She mentioned four members of the recording group who have sadly passed away since the beginning of work on the record, namely Brian Dickinson, joint group leader, Margaret and Philip Wells and Dorothy Fisher, all of whom also worked on the first record produced by The Arts Society Haslemere.  Special mention was made of Jane Bradford who compiled the record after all the research work had been completed.  Ruth Bacmeister, who painted a picture of the church for the record and who has since died, was remembered.  Alison Marston also said a few words.

Present with the congregation, as well as Alison Marston, chairman of the Arts Society Haslemere, were members of the recording group and of the committee and other members of the Arts Society Haslemere.  Barbara Naylor, the West Surrey Area adviser for Church Recording, attended, as did David Round, Mayor of Haslemere.  There was a gathering in the Peace Chapel after the Service.

Click here to see a few photos of the event.


After completing a record of St. Christopher's Church (see below), the second Church Recording group was set up in 2011 to produce a record of the contents and furnishings of St. Bartholomew's Church, Haslemere. The new group, lead by the late Brian Dickinson, a member of the first HDFAS Church Recording group, and Jane Stopford-Russell, who at the time was also West Surrey Area Co-Ordinator for Young Arts, originally met at the church for an inaugural meeting on 30th November, 2011.  


The group used to meet on the second and third Thursdays of the month. Nine members brought their experience from working on St. Christopher's record, most of them taking on the same sections they worked on before. The group totalled 20 in all and received £200 sponsorship from the Friends of the Parish.


St. Bartholomew's has many interesting features, with a challenging number of windows and an impressive 10 bells. There are 24 memorials (one of which, the diamond jubilee plaque, has been installed since the project got underway), some exquisitely worked textiles and a wealth of woodwork and stonework. There are seven peal boards, recording bell-ringing feats, in the bell-tower (the earliest entered took place in 1901); these are not normally on public display as only the bell ringers have access to that area. Although the church was rebuilt, in 1870-1871, records go back a long way, the earliest of which date from around 1180 A.D. when the original building was known as Piperham Chapel, named after the family Piperham who owned the land and lived nearby.


Details about all items were checked as they were entered into the record. Some needed double checking, as was the case with one of the stained glass windows dedicated to Gerard Manley Hopkins. It transpires that the date of birth painted on the window is incorrect by one year, making him a little older than he actually was.

Recorders at work
Recorders at work July 2012


Woodwork, window and textile details
Woodwork, window and textile details


Church recording is not all work. During the break in August 2012, Jane Stopford-Russell hosted a Summer lunch party in her garden, assisted by Drummond.


The organ at St Bartholomew’s was restored in April 2013 and recorders took advantage of access to the area behind the organ to study a window that it is not normally possible to see. The window features Saints Cecilia, Elizabeth and Agnes. Below is a general view of the window, plus two close-ups of St. Cecilia (on the left) and Saint Elizabeth.

Window behind organ


St. Christopher's Church, Haslemere St. Christopher's Church, Haslemere

In January 2009, HDFAS set up their first church recording group to record the contents of St. Christopher's Church, Haslemere.  A team of 14 members, lead by Frankie Gaiter and Jan Wickens, researched and compiled the record over a two year period. It was completed on 10th May 2011 and was displayed at the 28th June lecture in Haslemere Hall.


Copies of the record have been sent for archiving to the National Monuments Record Centre, the Church Buildings Council, the Surrey History Centre in Woking and a digital version has been sent to the Art Library at the V & A. At a special service held in St. Christopher's on 18th September 2011, a bound copy was presented to the new Rector, the Reverend Mary Bowden. Finally the Haslemere Educational Museum was presented with a bound copy on 27th October 2011.


To read about two years in the life of a church recorder and for more information about the Record of St. Christopher's Church, CLICK HERE


The many faces of St. Christopher
The many faces of St. Christopher in the record