£10,000 National Archives grant for the Methodist Church

13 March 2024

The Archives and Record Advisory Group (ARAG), a subgroup of the Methodist Heritage Committee, will receive a £10,000 Resilience Grant from The National Archives for its project ‘Ministry of Memory.’

From Shetland to Jersey, thousands of Methodist churches hold historic records, and they continue to create records that document the story of the church and the wider local community. From Church Council minutes created last week to a cradle roll from the 19th century, these records tell the stories of the Church, individuals, and communities.

The Church depends on a network of volunteer archivists at church, circuit, and district level to care for these records and ensure that archival records are deposited with local archive services. This grant will enable the Church to develop training and resources to support existing volunteers and to attract and train new ones.  The majority of records are now ‘born digital’ and this work will be especially valuable in enabling the development of accessible guidance on managing and preserving digital records. 

Although focused on the records of the Methodist Church, these resources will be freely available and could be easily adapted to suit the needs of other religious denominations or organisations.

Mary Ellis, Liaison Officer for Methodist Archives for The Methodist Church in Britain said: “We are very grateful to The National Archives for the award of this grant. Our volunteer archivists are a dedicated and committed group of people. This funding will enable us to develop new guidelines and resources to support the valuable work ensuring that the records of the church are well-managed and that records of archival value are deposited with local archive services.

“We look forward to developing these resources and collaborating with colleagues in the local archive sector to provide high-quality training materials. By ensuring that our archives are preserved, the project will benefit all those who have an interest in Methodist history, from academic researchers to family historians.”

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