Church Monuments Society

About the Church Monuments Society

The Church Monuments Society is for everyone who is interested in the art of commemoration – early incised stones, medieval effigies, ledgerstones, brasses, modern gravestones. The Society was founded in 1979 to encourage the appreciation, study and conservation of church monuments both in the UK and abroad.

We organise a range of study days and excursions and a biennial symposium in which we can explore in more detail these fascinating relics of the past. We publish an internationally-recognised peer-reviewed journal, Church Monuments, and a more informal newsletter. We are active on social media, with a popular Twitter account (over 3,500 followers) and a regular blog. This website shares news about events, discoveries and new resources.

Tomb carvings are not just about death. They also tell us about the living, their sense of identity, their beliefs and hopes.  They are of huge artistic importance. Almost all the surviving medieval British sculpture is in churches, and most of it is in the form of monuments. More recent memorials are a treasure trove of vernacular art – Cornish slate angels, skulls and crossbones, the glorious painted wall monuments of the Welsh marches with their cherubs and swags of fruit and flowers. We encourage understanding of all these monuments, and we work with churches and local communities to help to conserve them and make them more accessible.

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Our people

Our Council includes academics, heritage professionals, conservators and experts on a wide range of topics to do with tomb carvings.

The CMS Council Needs You!

You are interested in church monuments, but have you considered taking that interest further by joining Council?

Nominations are open for ordinary members of Council to join us from the 2022 AGM in September. The Council manages the smooth running of the Society, receives reports and plans future events. This year we are looking for three people, to serve for three years, who can attend three meetings a year, on Saturdays, in March, July and November, as well as the AGM in September. You have to be a fully paid-up member of the Society, proposed and seconded by members whose subscriptions are not in arrears. Click here for an online nomination form or, if you prefer, you may request a copy from the Secretary. If you have any questions please contact the Secretary –

Members of Council are a diverse group, not all are academics or published authors! Do give this some thought – you would be welcome to join Council, all that’s needed is your enthusiasm.

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We are a registered charity, registration no.1197588. An elected Council meets regularly and all members can attend the Annual General Meeting.