In 1971 an exhibition entitled ‘Victorian Church Art’ being planned in England ran into difficulties due to a lack of thorough records in local churches from 1815 onwards.

As a result the Arts Society (then NADFAS) was  asked by the Victoria and Albert Museum to set up a scheme to ‘fill the gap’.  A pilot scheme devised  between NADFAS and the V & A established a format which is still used as the basis of all Church Recording in the UK today.

Volunteer teams ( members of a local Arts Society) make a comprehensive survey of the contents of church buildings.  Reports cover a wide range of topics, from memorials and metalwork to textiles and windows.  Details of dates, history,  designers and donors are all researched,  and the catalogue includes measurements, photographs and anything else helpful.  A church is chosen by the local Society which then works at its own pace.

The original record goes to the church,  with copies made for church archives and the libraries of the V & A and the Arts Society.  These records are not only an invaluable practical asset for the church,  but they are an ecclesiastical and social record of the parish.  Of some 50,000 churches in the UK nearly 2,000 have been recorded.

To date TASDAG Church Recorders  have covered five churches; St. Michael’s and South Dumfries, Troqueer Dumfries, St. Mary’s Catholic Church New Abbey,  Durisdeer and Kirkmahoe.