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Parish Symposium 2013 – Berkswell and Beyond

Reading Room 

For the first time, the Warwick Network for Parish Research went on the road! We teamed up with partners in a Warwickshire village rich in historical attractions. The Eleventh Warwick Symposium on Parish Research took the form of an on-site workshop co-organized with the Spirit of Berkswell project. We gratefully acknowledge the support of our hosts, the local WI, numerous helpers on the day and the university’s Humanities Research Centre.

The meeting took place on Saturday 25 May 2013 at various Berkswell locations. As always, all groups and individuals with interests in parish history and culture were warmly invited to get involved. Nearly 100 participants attended the proceedings.

Click on the links below to display the symposium report, photos, presentations and videos:
Report on the 2013 Symposium ‘Berkswell and Beyond’

Photos — Presentations — Videos


The full programme was as follows:

9.45 Welcome and Introduction by the co-organizers

10-11.15 Session 1: Berkswell Projects (in the Reading Room)
1. Berkswell School – Mr Matt Penn, Mrs Innes Brett, Grace and Robert
2. The History of Berkswell: 1700 to the present – Mr Tony Sweatman
3. The Millennium Oral History Project – Mr Stan Green
4. The Coal Mine Development – Dr David Stableforth

11.15-45 Refreshments (kindly provided by Berkswell WI members)

11.45-1 Session 2: Berkswell and Beyond (in the Reading Room)
5. The HS2 Campaign – Mr Malcolm Hickin
6. The Spirit of Berkswell project: Telling the Story of Berkswell – Revd Dr Mark Bratton and Mrs Jill Tompkins Bailey
7. Avon Dassett Local History Group Book / Web Diary Projects – Dr Sarah Richardson
8. Kineton and District Local History Group Graveyard Project – David Freke

1-2 Buffet lunch ( Reading Room) and visit to the Berkswell Museum (picture above right)

Ambulatory Interpretation Porch

2-3.30 Session 3: Ambulatory Interpretation of Berkswell church (on site, see picture below)


3.30-45 Refreshments (Berkswell Church / WI members)A collective exploration of the exterior and interior of St John the Baptist church, featuring contributions by Mark Bratton (Berkswell), Bernard Capp, Beat Kümin, Peter Marshall and Don White (Warwick Parish Network), Jonathan Willis (Birmingham) and other participants.

3.45-5 Session 4: Opportunities & Perspectives (Jordan Room, Berkswell Church)
9. Is there an app for that? The use of digital and social media in church interpretation – Patrick Gibbs/Louise Hampson, Christianity and Culture, York
10. Online exchange on– David Beck, Warwick Parish Network

Roundtable reviewing the day’ and discussing future plans, followed by informal exchange at the Bear Inn

Event Poster


Credits: St. John the Baptist, Berkswell © Don White;
other images © Beat Kümin.

Further impressions of the parish church