HASLEMERE DECORATIVE AND FINE ARTS SOCIETY
A member society of NADFAS
1st R E C O R D
ST. CHRISTOPHER'S CHURCH RECORD
TWO YEARS IN THE LIFE OF A RECORDER
The idea of making a record for St. Christopher's Church was first suggested to Frankie Gaiter, then church warden, in 2005 but it was not until 2009 that the project got underway. An inaugural meeting took place in January, attended by the Reverend Norman Jones, written permission having been obtained from the Archdeacon and the Parochial Church Council. Members of Haslemere DFAS formed a group, led by Jan Wickens, a former HDFAS chairman (2002-2005), and Frankie Gaiter, and set about researching and cataloguing the contents of St. Christopher's, compiling their findings according to a standard NADFAS format. The record was finished on 10th May 2011.
St. Christopher's, the daughter church of St. Bartholomew, is a listed Arts and Crafts building, with many interesting features. Its architect Charles Spooner (a disciple of William Morris) whose main interest was in wood carving, designed most of the interior furnishings although many of them were not put in place for some years. Consequently it has a pleasing sense of unity. It has been largely unchanged since its consecration in September 1903.
From left to right: First meeting at the church February 2009, Liz Hawkins
Members worked on the sections which they found most interesting: Dorothy Fisher tackled the Library section; Philip Wells and Brian Dickinson worked their way through the longest section on Woodwork; Philip also did the Stonework and Brian took on the organ, the main item in the Miscellaneous section, and did a lot of research into the history of people mentioned in the various sections.
From left to right: Judith Wharton, Pat Dutton, Liz Hawkins, Margaret Wells, Philip Wells; Margaret Wells examining brass ewer
Sources of information included the Haslemere Educational Museum, Service records, the internet and church faculties held in London and Woking. Frankie Gaiter was an invaluable member of the group, having extensive experience and knowledge of the history of the church and documents in the church keeping. She also generously sponsored the record, together with HDFAS. Jan Wickens was always on hand to help decide what should be included in the descriptions of items and Roger Allen, NADFAS Area adviser for Church Recording, provided advice on the compilation of the record and meticulously checked interim and final drafts. Group members attended various study days organised by the West Surrey Area and everyone checked and double checked their sources and references to ensure maximum accuracy.
Review July 2010 with Roger Allen.
Laser copies have been sent to the National Monuments Record Centre, the Church Buildings Council and the Surrey History Centre in Woking. A digital version on CD has been given to the Victoria and Albert Museum Art Library. A copy of the record will also be given to the Haslemere Educational Museum. Before the monthly HDFAS lecture on 28th June, Frankie Gaiter and Jan Wickens talked about the record, two copies of which had recently been bound by a bookbinders in Guildford. One copy was on display in the annexe after the lecture.
To see photographs of the event, CLICK HERE.
Finally, the second bound copy of the record was presented to Bernard Coe, Chairman of the Haslemere Educational Museum, on 27th October, 2011. This copy of the record will be retained by the Museum and will be available for the public to see. All but two members of the church recording group were present, together with Penny Davidson and Sarah Barnes and the Reverend Mary Bowden.
Producing the record proved to be both an interesting and enjoyable experience. Hard work was combined with convivial coffee breaks, a couple of Christmas lunches at The Red Lion in Fernhurst and, thanks to the generous hospitality of Jan and Brian Wickens, three delicious lunches celebrating the start, the halfway mark and the completion of the record.
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