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Parish registers and records

All registers which have been closed should be deposited on loan in the appropriate Diocesan record office. Any register whose last entry is over 100 years old should be deposited in the Diocesan record office.

Records and registers over 100 years old may only be retained in a parish following a resolution by the PCC and the Bishop’s permission.

Stringent conditions for the storage of documents over 100 years old are set out in the Parochial Registers & Records Measure 1978, amended by the Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure 1992. The place of storage will be inspected by a Diocesan Archivist.

When records and registers have been deposited parishes should adopt a policy of regularly depositing non-current files and completed PCC and other minute books and account books.

When records and registers are deposited, a list of documents received will be sent to the incumbent and should be placed in the safe in the vestry.

Diocesan Records Offices

The Diocesan Records Offices are:

For parishes within the boundaries of the City of Westminster before 1964

City of Westminster Archives Centre
10 St Ann’s Street
London SW1W 2XR
Tel 020 7641 5180

For all other parishes, including in the City of London

London Metropolitan Archives
40 Northampton Road
London EC1R 0HB
Tel 020 7332 3820

(The Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section has closed permanently and merged with London Metropolitan Archives.)

Further information

‘The Care of Your Parish Records – Church of England Record Centre Records Management Guide No.1’ (revised April 2009) has been produced as part of the Record Management Guides of the Church of England, and is available on the Church of England website.

This revision is intended to provide some brief, practical notes to be used by the various parish officers who find themselves involved in managing records on behalf of the parish. The information in this leaflet has been taken from a number of sources including the Advisory Group of the Church of England Record Centre, the Council for the Care of Churches, Cheshire Record Office, Kent Archive and Local History Service, the Legal Office of the National Church Institutions. The National Archives and the Society of Archivists.

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