Friday, 25 November 2016

Keeping the records in Galleywall Rd

Most people probably don't know it is there, but just up the road from the Blue in Galleywall Road, is the Church of England Record Centre, housing documents dating back to the 14th century on 7 kilometres of shelving.

Today the centre had an open day and very interesting it was, too.

They had all kinds of exhibits on display including from the marvellously named 'Central Church of England Home for Waifs and Strays', part of a network of church-run children's homes and orphanages. One particularly interesting item was the notebook in which the cook had meticulously recorded in very neat handwriting what the children had to eat each day of the year.

Also on display was the official deed (right) changing the Canons to allow women to be bishops.

Then, when the archivist, discovered I was the vicar from St James and St Anne's, he dived off into the store rooms and came back with a greal pile of documents concerned with the early days of our two parishes.

For St Anne's there was a list of donors who had contributed to the appeal to provide for the new parish.

For St James there was a pile of correspondence from the early 1820s, all in beautiful copperplate writing, setting out plans for the new church, including the detail that (in the pews) 20 inches was to be allowed for each adult, and 14 inches for each child.

Accommodation was to be provided for 1,955 people altogether.

The centre moves to new purpose built accommodation at Lambeth Palace in a few years time, but for the time being it is another ingredient in the fascinating mixture that is Bermondsey. 

It is open to the public Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays.  Details here

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