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Parish Network & Parish Symposium - An Appreciation

I write to repeat my congratulations on another successful symposium and also for the achievements of the Parish Network in general over the past twenty years. As I said at the anniversary reception on 7 May 2022, it is no mean achievement. Beat Kümin and his team have developed a wonderful network and an excellent website - a real service to our wider community of scholars both in this country and abroad. We study parishes, but we are not parochial in our outlook; the Network has always sought to make us look to the continent and this year's symposium was a good example of that with excellent presentations on Portugal and Romania. This approach has always provided a strong comparative edge to our discussions. It has ensured that we adopt a multi-disciplinary approach and engage with our topics through diverse sources and approaches; this symposium - in common with earlier ones - enjoyed great debate about definitions, our sources, a variety of methods, and material culture. Finally, and most important of all, Beat and his team have ensured that the network is friendly and accessible for all - amateurs and professionals alike. This is no doubt one reason why it hosts important database projects on matters of regional interest like the parishes of Warwickshire and national projects like the churchwardens' accounts database. As we said when raising our glasses at the end, long may you and the team at Warwick prosper.
With all best wishes,

Andrew Foster

Dr Andrew Foster
University of Kent