Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Twentieth Warwick Symposium on Parish Research


Co-organized by Beat Kümin (Warwick) & Arnd Reitemeier (Göttingen),
with Daniel Gettings & Maria Tauber (Warwick)

Saturday 7 May 2022, Seminar Room, Institute of Advanced Study, 10.15 am - 7 pm (hybrid format)

As parish researchers, some of us zoom in on specific communities, buildings or individuals, while others address more general themes, period structures or longer-term developments. Yet we all engage with various forms of ‘writing’ to obtain key information and then aspire to disseminate findings in the form of reports, essays, monographs, social media posts or online texts of our own. The twentieth anniversary symposium of the Warwick Network for Parish Research focused on the opportunities, challenges and processes of ‘writing’ about parishes in the broadest sense of the term.

Gersau Anniversary Book 

Papers engaged with key genres of primary sources (such as obituaries, maps, visitation returns and wall paintings), offered reflections on historiographical trends (in local / parish studies as well as Reformation research) and considered thematic issues (such as book bindings, marginalia, architectural styles and database analysis) for a wide range of regional and chronological contexts.

Welcome and introductions

Beat Kümin (Warwick) & Arnd Reitemeier (Göttingen / Germany)

Session I: Sources & Writing – Chair: Arnd Reitemeier

Maria Amélia Álvaro de Campos (University of Coimbra, CHSC / Portugal): Writing the parish in medieval obituaries. The case of São Bartolomeu de Coimbra (12th to 15th centuries)

Victoria Stevens (Archive Conservator) & Emma Down (Newte Library): For nothing is hidden except to be made manifest: revealing the Newte Parish Library

Catharine Otton-Goulder (Oxford): Parsons’ 1629 Map of Bainton parish, East Yorkshire

Simon Lancaster (Kellogg College, Oxford): The nineteenth-century visitation return: a longitudinal study


Session II: Churches, Texts & Writing – Chair: Beat Kümin

Anne Heading (North Yorkshire): The Neo Gothic Revival and Tractarianism: impact on village structure and on the construction of two parish churches in North Yorkshire: a case study

Ellie Pridgeon (Leicester): Writing the Parish: Approaches to Medieval Wall Painting Research

Jessica Purdy (Manchester Metropolitan): Anonymous Scribblers: the Challenges of Writing the Reception of Religious Texts by Unknown Readers

Adinel C. Dincă (Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca / Romania): Lutheran Historians writing on the Pre-Reformation Parish in Transylvania (ca. 1850-1930)

Discussion 1 Discussion 2
Session III: Parishes & Writing – Chair: Jonathan Willis

Radu Nedici (University of Bucharest / Romania): What is a parish? Defining the Greek Orthodox congregations at the hand of Catholic authorities in Habsburg Transylvania, c. 1760

Chris Lewis (Institute of Historical Research, London): Reinventing English parish history, 1900–1960

Delivered via video address:

Iain Riddell ( Beyond a name… Little in common, the incomparability of the Northern and Southern British parish [watch recording here]

Maik Schmerbauch (Archive of the Catholic Military Bishop, Berlin / Germany): Data extraction method of military church books for historical researches of Military Parishes in Germany from 17th to 21st century [watch here]

Virtual Attendees


Party icon Anniversary reception (‘The Street’, Zeeman Building Foyer) Bottle

Valerie Hitchman/Andrew Foster (Kent): Churchwardens’ Accounts Database Project Update

Robert Bearman (Dugdale Society), Sharon Forman (Warwickshire County Record Office),
Beat Kümin (Warwick): The Warwickshire Parish Accounts Project

Celebration of 20 Years of Parish Network & Symposium –
Buffet Reception & Testimonies by Andrew Foster & Arnd Reitemeier

Testimonies Reception

Revisit proceedings via #PaSymp22 on Twitter

Read Andrew Foster's 20th Anniversary Appreciation of the Network & Symposium

For access to selected session recordings get in touch with Daniel or Maria

 Many thanks to speakers, chairs, delegates & online attendees !

2022 Symposium Team

The 2022 Symposium Team: Arnd Reitemeier (Göttingen), Eva van Kemenade (Warwick Renaissance),
Daniel Gettings, Maria Tauber & Beat Kümin (Warwick History).


Reports and materials on previous symposia can be found here. Pics: Beat Kümin, Hannah Reeve, Maria Tauber.

Illustration: opening page of the book of anniversaries celebrated in the parish church of Gersau in present-day Switzerland (1627-). Parish archive, Pfarreibuch no. 1: Jahrzeitbuch. Reproduced with kind permission.

My-Parish Logo

For further information, please contact:

We gratefully acknowledge the support of Warwick's Department of History & Humanities Research Centre


History Logo


HRC Logo