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Finding and Using English Parish Registers & Christian Rites of Passage


In our first talk, Finding and Using English Parish Registers in Record Offices and Online with Else Churchill, we will have a good look at Parish Registers:

What’s in them?  

Where to find them?  

How to use them? 

Else will also take a brief look at records that supplement Parish Registers. 


Our second talk, Weddings, Baptisms and Funerals – Our Christian Rites of Passage as Displayed in Anglican Churches with John Vigar, discusses how pictures and objects in our churches introduce us to historic practices. Although probably familiar to our ancestors, many have since been forgotten or superseded. 

From baptism,holy matrimony and the final rite of passage, the funeral, these rites are discussed and illustrated through carvings, wall paintings, stained glass and other objects to show a thousand years of depictions of the milestones in our human journey. 


Note - Only the first session will be recorded.


About the speakers:

Else Churchill is the Genealogist at the Society Genealogists in London and a has over 30 years of experience as a genealogist.

Formerly a professional genealogical librarian and researcher, Else has worked for the SoG since 1994. She now leads on external liaison, representation and communications; the Society's education and publishing programmes as well as being the Society's subject specialist.


John VigarFollowing a career in academia, John worked for 13 years in the south-east region of  The Churches Conservation Trust  and he is a Trustee of a national charity, The Friends of Friendless Churches. 

He is a member of the Academic Advisory Board of the Centre for Parish Church Studies.John’s specialist subject is ecclesiology – the study of church architecture and associated topics. He has written extensively on the subject and leads regular tours to churches across England. 

John is particularly interested in nineteenth century church restoration and his MA thesis was written on the subject of Church Restoration in the Diocese of Rochester. John has written the guidebooks for several hundred churches and is the author of books on the churches of both Kent and Sussex. He has visited and recorded over 13,000 of the 16,000 Anglican churches in England and Wales.

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