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An update from the Archive project

News St Martin – Talking Points

Friday 12 April 2013

We are immensely grateful to members of The St Martin’s community who have donated items to the Archives so far this year. These include Enid Bartholomew, Christopher and Shirley Butcher, Anne Duffin, Celia Gilmour, Silver Green & Thelma Rose, Robert, and Ralph Smith, our recently retired Head Verger. Each has contributed to many sections of our holdings.

An important strand running through our collections are the runs of our Parish Magazines from 1890 to 2005. As a result of our previous holdings and these new gifts, we now have a nearly complete coverage of the whole range of magazines; the only significant gaps being some individual copies between Jan 1945 and December 1949.

We hold records of church services and activities for the incumbencies of vicars from John Kitto all the way to Sam Wells.

One of the most significant recent gifts in this category has been over 100 letters written by Austen Williams over a period of thirty years, into his own retirement.

Other gifts have included papers from courses run at St Martin’s over the past 20 years.

For the past 18 months, we have been collecting bulletins and newsletter about St Martin’s ‘week by week’. We now have a reasonable collections over the past 10 years, but are seeking more copies from 1993-2004. Recent gifts have helped us fill some gaps, but we still need more, especially the ‘Thoughts for the Week’ published by both clergy and laity.

We have catalogued over 3000 photographic prints and we are pleased to say we still receive valuable pictures of both the church buildings, and of people and activities from the community.

We are grateful too for the additional gifts relating to St Martin’s and the Royal Parish, and beyond, both within the UK and elsewhere in the world.

Although most of our records relate to the period since 1890, there was a significant recent exception to this – a reprint, published by vicar Revd Kitto in 1901, of the accounts of the churchwardens of the Royal Parish 1525-1603.

We also now have an important collection of the Friends of St Martin-in-the-Fields newsletters from 1966-2012, though we still need those for 1951-1965. We have a complete collection of programmes for the Christmas Matinées held 1960-67 to raise money for children’s charities. These took place at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, and had extracts performed from some of the leading London shows at the time.

Grateful thanks are extended by the Archive team for these donations and we look forward to continuing to build our record of the past and to encouraging our efforts to ensure the future of our church.

Michael Hellyer, Victor Grant, Alison Hardwick, Peggy Wylie and all our colleagues around the church who do so much to make our archival work possible.

For information about our archives, please see the Parish Archive page.