Church Monuments Society


St Olave Hart St Sir James Deane

CMS 2018 Annual General Meeting

St Olave

Notice is hereby given that 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.

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

Minutes from previous meetings

Policy documents

church monuments society much marcle

Our objectives

The Church Monuments Society was founded in 1979 and offers a focus for all who have an interest in church monuments of all types and periods. It was conceived to encourage the appreciation, study and conservation of church monuments both in the UK and abroad.

The Society organises biennial symposia, annual study days, an AGM, at least three excursions a year and some additional ad hoc events. The Society publishes an annual academic journal ‘Church Monuments’ and a less formal, informative twice yearly Newsletter. These publications are provided free to members, but may be purchased separately.

Please note that the Church Monuments Society is not able to offer grant aid.

Personal Statement – Clive Easter

The stated aims and objectives of the Church Monuments Society are `to promote, for the public benefit, the study, care and conservation of funerary monuments of historical, artistic, architectural or educational importance and related art of all periods and of all countries.’ Accordingly, therefore, an essential element of my Presidency would be to forge closer working links with other organisations to promote and encourage the wider study of commemorative art. To accomplish this more joint ventures (study days, symposia and excursions) would be especially beneficial. Such joint ventures would also allow us to explore topics surrounding commemorative art that have been on the periphery of our subject (hatchments, painted glass etc.). I would also actively encourage more consideration of the wider cultural issues surrounding commemorative art and look at establishing connections between our subject and other aspects of the lives of the persons concerned. As an example, I would encourage more comparison between sculpted monuments and painted portraits, especially within my own chosen area of interest, the Early Modern period. Church monuments, as historical, cultural and artistic objects cannot be studied in isolation.

Having spent a number of years in education, I would like to explore ways in which we could encourage educational establishments – schools as well as colleges – to access our materials and make use of the resources available via an expanded web site. Producing aids to learning that emphasize the importance of commemorative art in any wider historical study would be valid and linking the subject of commemorative art to the demands of the National Curriculum would be a significant step forward in promoting the society to a young audience.

It has been the desire of all incoming Presidents to raise the membership of the society. I too would see this as a key performance indicator of any new President and I believe that the measures I have outlined will help achieve this objective.

Apart from education, much of my recent career has focused on business and commerce. It is in these areas that I have the appropriate experience to help develop the Church Monuments Society along more commercial lines. Thus, a case can be made for establishing a business model with the aim of securing a philanthropic partner to help in marketing the Church Monuments Society to a wider audience. Appropriate consultation would be necessary if we are to develop the society along more commercial lines.

We have been very successful to date in securing additional revenue via study days, symposia and excursions. As President, I would not only continue expand it and draw in other organisations to our events as outlined above Having served continuously on the council of the Church Monuments Society for over thirty years I believe that not only do I have a detailed knowledge of how we operate but also the commercial, business and management skills necessary to move the Society forward.

Personal Statement – Mark Downing

I have been a member of the Church Monuments Society since 1992. Attending events enabled me to meet the great scholars Nick Norman and Claude Blair, who encouraged me in my interest in medieval effigies. I have specialised in military effigies, arms and armour which have been the main areas of my interest and research. I formed an ambition to view and record all the examples up to 1500. This I have achieved, resulting in my books Military Effigies of England & Wales. This shows my determination to achieve goals. I am now widening my interests to include other types of medieval effigies and I am working on a book on Herefordshire examples.

I have been privileged to be on the council in some capacity since 1995 and am currently Events Co-ordinator. During my time as a council member I have organised numerous symposia and other events which has led me to get to know a lot of society members, both scholars and enthusiasts, and to appreciate the diverse interests we have in common. Since my interest church monuments began I have always had a passion for the subject and being a council member has given me the opportunity to care for the society; always looking to improve the organisation and the delivery of events to maximise society members’ enjoyment and satisfaction.

The society needs a President who not only supports and understands the wide and varied activities undertaken but who also has the foresight to take the society forward. He or she should not be just a figure-head but someone who will be fully involved, attending most events. I feel that I have the ability and track record to do this. Also, being self-employed has given me expertise in budgeting and planning.

The recent questionnaire I organised showed that members were very satisfied with what we provide but we must continue to develop. I would be keen as President to promote a variety of excursions and perhaps to introduce two-day excursions (with members making their own arrangements for accommodation) in years when we do not have a symposium. I aim get as wide a geographical balance as possible and to include more ambitious events in Scotland and Ireland. I would like to introduce more joint events with other societies which would benefit our members too, similar to the Claude Blair memorial event which I was involved in organising. I recognise that most members do not choose to attend events so it is also vital that our excellent publications continue to develop and improve where possible and I will give the editors my full support in this. The website, StopPress and social media are growing in importance but I will ensure that those who do not have computers are not left out.

The society has a huge reputation in the academic world and I wish to pursue our development, similar to those early pioneers of the Society who have brought us to where we are today.