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The Society is a registered charity. No.279597 Registered Office: The Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London. W1V 0HS Copyright (c) 2016 CMS. All rights reserved.


The 2018 Annual General Meeting of the Church Monuments Society will be held at 2.00pm on Saturday, 22nd September 2018 at St Olave, Hart Street, London EC3R 7NB.

Click here for further details and agenda <link to attached Notice for the 2018 AGM>

A new President will be elected at this meeting. Nomination forms have been received from Mark Downing and Clive Easter: click on their names for their personal statements.

Any member of the Society, whose subscription is not in arrears, is eligible to stand for election.  Candidates must be proposed and seconded by two members of the Society, and should provide a statement of no more than 500 words indicating the qualities and experience that they would bring to the role.  Application form are available from the Hon Secretary (contact details on back cover) to whom they should be returned no later than Monday, 13 August 2018.

At the conclusion of business there will be a tour of the monuments, including that of Elizabeth Pepys, and Dr Julian Litten will talk about Samuel Pepys. The meeting will conclude with refreshments.

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Rhianydd Biebrach's long-awaited book Church Monuments in South Wales c. 1200-1547 is published this month: click here for special offer order form

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Special Offer for CMS members: Reformations and their Impact on the Culture of Memoria, a new publication by Brepols, joint editor our own Paul Cockerham.

Click here for more information and order form.

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In memoriam

David John Kelsall MB BS, on 23 December 2016, aged 87

Members will be sad to hear of the death of Dr David Kelsall on 23 December 2016, who, together with his wife Jane, was a regular attender at CMS events. They organised a number of highly successful excursions based on Hertfordshire and nearby. He spent his working life as a GP in St Albans and on retirement became a very knowledgeable archivist at the abbey of St Alban, a position he held for 22 years until his death. A self-effacing man at CMS events, he was at home a splendid host and proficient cook and was always ready to show off their highly-manicured, restful garden. He had many other talents. A keen artist, his watercolours adorned the walls of their St Albans home. He also learnt goldsmithing skills and had an eye for fine gemstones, making jewellery for Jane and silver spoons and boxes which will doubtless become treasured family heirlooms. He was also a potter, bookbinder and IT expert. Yet above all he would doubtless like to be remembered as a family man, a devoted husband and loving father and grandfather. Sadly, he died before he could hear his grandson, Thomas, sing the opening solo at ‘Carols from Kings’ on Christmas Eve, but he was very proud of all his family’s achievements.

David was a brilliant photographer producing illustrations for the Cathedral publications and supporting Jane’s lectures. He was always prepared to assisted the volunteers in the Cathedral Archives with his expert computer knowledge & appreciated the work they undertook. All enquiries received from both within the Cathedral community and further afield were answered with a prompt reply, often with supporting material obtained from the archive and his vast knowledge on the Cathedral & City of St Albans he loved. He will be sadly missed.   

Sally Badham & Derrick Chivers.

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Peter Hacker 1943-2016

Peter Hacker, a well known member of the Society, sadly died on 28 November and his life was celebrated at a simple and moving funeral, in Harrogate, on 16 December.

Peter was someone who had many interests and enthusiasms that ranged from steam trains to choral music, for a number of years he sang with a local choral society.  Peter, as he said himself, was a proud son of Somerset, where he was educated at Taunton School, and equally proud of his adopted town of Harrogate where he was, for many years, a ‘fixture’ in the antique scene.  Peter was a committee member of the Harrogate Civic Society one of whose activities was the installation of plaques on buildings where notable inhabitants of the town had lived.  He was also vociferous about building plans that he felt would not enhance the town – but this did not mean he opposed progress.

Together with Patrick Farman, Peter contributed much information to volumes of the Monumental Brass Society’s revision of the county list.  He liked Victorian brasses, often overlooked until relatively recent years, although he was less fond of what he termed ‘boring Victorian inscriptions’.

Many members of the CMS will remember Peter for the excursions he organised, with Patrick, in Yorkshire. Meticulous planning ensured that these days were not only highly informative but great fun.  As well as an eclectic mix of monuments and architecture, creature comforts, including splendid teas, were never forgotten.

Peter was a gregarious man, with strong opinions and a great love of life.  Some of us remember his laughter echoing around a church.  We have sat outside churches while he enjoyed a cigarette and exchanged tales of intrigue.  He will be sadly missed by his many friends and acquaintances.

Derrick Chivers and Hilary Wheeler

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Click here to read the Minutes of the 2016 Annual General Meeting held on Saturday,

24 September 2016

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Click here for the Minutes of the 2015 Annual General Meeting held at 2pm on Saturday, 26 September 2015

Click for the Minutes of the AGMs         2014          2013          2012

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Call for Proposals - Picturing Death 1200-1600

Proposals sought for chapters in a peer-reviewed edited volume

Click here for further details.

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