Conservation for Mission: Conservation of Historic Church Interiors in the Church of England

Louise Ann Hampson, Janet Berry, Adam Klups

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The central role of the Church of England is mission and ministry and the strategy of the Church’s Cathedrals and Church Buildings Division is to support buildings for mission. Over three quarters of the Church of England’s 15,700 church buildings are listed, although the Church is not a heritage organisation. Discussions on conservation of church heritage focus on the buildings: conservation of historic interiors is rarely explicitly mentioned, which is not surprising given the uneasy relationship the Church of England has with religious imagery. The implicit nature of discussions makes it difficult to unpick the impact of conservation of historic church interiors as part of the whole, which in turn has implications on the allocation of resources to their conservation. This paper discusses the current research project that is exploring conservation for mission of the Church’s historic interiors. It interrogates the real questions asked by parishioners: ‘How does the conservation of a monument help the mission of a church?’, ‘How does maintenance of a mechanical church turret clock aid mission?’ Development of this discourse centred around objects in situ will help to strengthen the relationship between objects and buildings conservation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)P1-P8
Number of pages9
JournalStudies in Conservation
Issue numberSup1
Early online date2 Jun 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Jun 2020


  • ecclesiatical heritage
  • Church of England
  • in situ collections
  • collections in use
  • accidental heritage steward

Cite this