The volunteer team of church recorders gathered last Friday probably for the last time at Ivychurch, the scene of four years work in recording the fabric and contents of this ancient marsh church. They were there with local parishioners to celebrate in a service of thanksgiving for the Queen on her platinum jubilee.
As part of the service, they presented a handsome bound volume describing in detail the results of their labours. There were sections in the report covering each major area of study, comprising memorials, metalwork, stonework and woodwork, textiles, paintings, library, windows and miscellaneous, each with its specialist sub-team. Each Monday morning during summer and autumn, the team had assembled in the building for a couple of hours work before repairing to the local hostelry for well-earned refreshments. Other churches previously surveyed included Old Romney, Brookland, Snargate, New Romney and Brenzett, most of them beneficiaries from grants from the Romney Marsh Historic Churches Trust, which has played an important role in their preservation.
The report had been commissioned by the National Association of Design and Fine Arts, a national organisation promoting education in the arts and the preservation of artistic heritage. It has recently been renamed the Arts Society, and in a change of policy, discontinues its support for church recording groups. The presence of Brian Guest, chairman of the society’s Tenterden branch, was therefore greatly appreciated by the team members and he paid tribute to their work and apologised for the cause of their disbanding.
The report presented to the Ivychurch PCC is one of several, other copies going to Historic England, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Arts Society itself.
Image Credits: Kenneth Bird .