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Anniversary Parish Symposium 25-27 May 2012


With full programme of plenaries, papers, workshops, roundtables and stalls

of most proceedings of the 2012 Symposium

The event was co-organized by Beat Kümin with Joanne Anderson and Don White for the

Warwick Network for Parish Research
in partnership with the British Association for Local History and
The Centre for the Study of Christianity and Culture

supported by Warwick's Humanities Research Centre and the
GPP 'digital change: realising the digital future'.

Venue: Scarman House Conference Centre, University of Warwick, Coventry

Get a taste of the Symposium atmosphere in this Video (filmed /edited by Matt Fuller)

In 2012 we marked the 10th anniversary of the Parish Symposium by teaming up with the British Association for Local History and the Centre for the Study of Christianity and Culturefor a weekend of parish-related research and initiatives. ‘Parish Studies Today’ brought together well over 100 delegates interested in parish history, culture and heritage to showcase the great variety of work pursued in the field across Britain and Europe from the Middle Ages to the present day. The event offered a unique opportunity for collaboration and exchange of ideas between independent researchers, preservation organizations, local communities, history groups, parish societies and academics at the Scarman House Conference Centre on Warwick's central campus.


Conversations over lunch at Scarman House. Pic: BK.

Parallel sessions featured over 50 research and project presentations, panel discussions and methodological workshops. A fair of project displays and promotional stalls ran alongside. Topics of investigation included:

· parish communities past and present

· efforts to interpret & preserve parish art, archives, architecture and material culture

· relationships between parishes, monasteries and local authorities

· digital reconstructions of period church interiors

· recent research projects conducted in Continental Europe

· poor relief and local charities

· acoustic dimensions of post-reformation parishes

· local magic and healing practices

· and much, much more

We were particularly pleased to host four plenary lectures by leading scholars:

Martin Crampin (University of Wales, Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies)

‘Discovering the Visual Culture of Welsh Parish Churches in the Modern Age’

Prof. em. Chris Dyer (University of Leicester, Centre for English Local History)

‘Have historians been too sentimental about the village community, 1334-1540?’

Prof. John Harper (Bangor University, School of Music)

‘Exploring the experience of worship in the late medieval parish church’

Dr Penny Roberts (Warwick, History)

‘Conflict and Violence in the French Urban Parish in the Age of the Reformation’


Plenary Lecture Audience. Pic: Paula McBride

We hope that all delegates and parish researchers more generally will take advantage of the opportunity to create their own page on the MyParish website. This new online resource, due to be uploaded in the summer of 2012, will showcase the wide variety of parish-related research and initiatives beyond the Symposium.


Stalls and Table Displays. Pic: Paula McBride

Parish Symposium Logo design: Donald White © 2011.

Contact: Beat Kümin,


img_2826_cropped.jpg2012 Delegates. Pic: BK


Beat Kümin
Department of History
University of Warwick

See also the homepage of the
Warwick Network for Parish Research 



Martin Crampin. Pic: M. Fuller







cc_logo.jpg & CULTURE




Supported by the
Humanities Research Centre
of the University of Warwick




Supported by: