A sermon under way at St John at Hackney Church
The Parish exhibition, focussing on life in London’s many Anglican parishes, was held at London Metropolitan Archives from October 2013 until February 2014
London is a city of many communities and faiths and this is reflected in the records we hold. Our large collection of archives from London Anglican parishes was the focus of this exhibition which attempted to show the richness and breadth of the material.
The parish collections vary in content, some with baptism, marriage and burial registers only, while others contain a full range of ecclesiastical and administrative material. Some of the earliest parish records we hold date from the early 15th century (although some parishes hold title deeds from the late 13th century) and so predate the break with the Catholic Church in Rome in the 1530s. However, our display reflected how most of our parish archives date from after the establishment of the Church of England.
The records demonstrate the wide civil obligations of the parish prior to the establishment of local government in the 19th century, as well as their well-known spiritual responsibilities, which are also documented in parish deposits in the local London borough archives.
The exhibition was necessarily selective due to the wide variety of material and range of responsibilities, and limitations on space. It focussed on the parish and its interaction with its community which has taken many forms, from assistance to the parish poor, the provision of fire engines, and the recording of baptisms, marriages and burials, to the present day hosting of local community groups and social clubs, local fetes and dances, and social events.
The exhibition is now closed.
To find out about current and past exhibitions at LMA, visit our news and events page.