Tag Archives: archives

Developing a Baptist Archives

This Manual is from the Baptist World Alliance Heritage and Identity Commission site, at http://www.bwa-baptist-heritage.org/index.htm.  I would hesitate at some of the advice given but it’s written in an accessible way, and the Commission has given serious thought to the digital challenge,

“[The Manual] is based on professional principles and uses traditional paper documents and processes which were the standard when it was first written in the 1990s.

Since then, of course, the digital world has appeared, and this means that archiving procedures and policies have to make the transition. As far as archives are concerned, the new digital world is the same only different – the same because the end process is still to preserve records for as long as they are needed in such a way that they are well kept and accessible to those who will use them. However the records themselves are different, the processes used to create, manage and retrieve them are different, and the media on which they reside and means of managing them are different. There are other differences too, but that gives a simple outline of the situation.

There are at least two aspects to going digital – one is to manage the documents now being created digitally (they are “born digital”), while the other is turn existing paper records into a digital form (so they become “re-born digital” documents), and then of course, to manage them in the same way as those born digital.”

Extracts from World War One War Diary

For the next few days up to 11 November this blog will feature extracts from the official War Diary of Revd G.A. Weston, Senior Chaplain to the 18th Division on the Western Front, August-November 1916 (held at The National Archives, reference WO 95/2023 (4)).  It records events up to, during and after the Battle of Thiepval Ridge and the subsequent Battle of the Ancre, two of the final actions of the Battle of the Somme

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Battle of Thiepval Ridge and Battle of the Ancre



Revd Edward Armstrong Bennet M.C. (1888-1977)

Bennet was born in Poyntzpass, near Armagh. He studied philosophy and theology at Trinity College, Dublin and after further studies at Ridley Hall, Cambridge, was ordained in the Church of England. At the outbreak of the First War he joined the 6th Northants Regiment as their chaplain, and in 1915 he was awarded the Military Cross. The experiences of the war led him to return to Trinity College where he qualified in medicine in 1925. From the start of his medical career Bennet’s interest lay in psychiatry. He was later a friend and biographer of Gustav Jung.


Revd Vincent Coke Boddington (1886-1917)

Boddington was appointed Chaplain 4th Class attached to 35th General Hospital, Royal Army Medical Corps. He died on 13 March 1917.

Revd Ronald Douglas Canadine (1887-1960)

After his First World War service Canadine served as a Chaplain in the Royal Navy from 1921. He was later Rector of Alvescot 1937-1945.

Revd Charles Tasman Parkinson (1886-1968)

Parkinson, was born at Hawera, New Zealand. He was educated at Wellington College and Auckland University College. In 1906 he entered Christ Church, Oxford.  After studying theology he was ordained in 1912. As a curate at South Shields, Durham, for the next three years he worked among Tyneside pitmen and shipyard workers. In 1916-1918 Parkinson served with various units in France and Belgium as a chaplain. In July 1918 he resigned his chaplaincy, re-enlisted as a gunner on 22 August, and served in France until the Armistice. After the war, Parkinson accepted a position at Christ’s Hospital, Horsham, Sussex. In 1932 Parkinson was appointed headmaster of The King’s School, Parramatta, New South Wales. During World War II he returned to Sydney to serve as assistant priest at St Jude’s, Randwick, until 1946.

Revd Grosvenor Francis Stopford (1889-1949)

After his war service Stopford served at Holy Trinity, Bradford, Yorkshire. In the Second World War, he returned to military chaplaincy as Deputy Assistant Chaplain-General 1940-1944. He was then Rector at Frethherne, Gloucestershire, 1945-1949.

Revd Christopher Harold Weller M.C. (1879-1960)

After service on the staff of St. Mary’s, Nottingham, Weller became Vicar of Great Longstone, Derbyshire. He was then Vicar in 1929 of All Saints, Nottingham 1929-1937, and Rector of All Hallows, Gedling, 1937-1948; he was later made a Canon of Southwell. His MC citation is recorded here:

Click to access data.pdf

Revd George Antipas Weston (1877-1953)

After missionary service, Weston was Vice-Principal of Lichfield Theological College from 1912 to 1920, during which period he served as Senior Chaplain to the 18th Division. He was later Vicar of Fleetwood 1920-1926, St Mary, Nelson 1926-1932, and Lynton 1932-1945. In 1945 he was appointed to the living of living of Leusdon, Devon.

WW1 logo jpg

New home for UK Baha’i archives?

Archives are central to the Bahá’í faith.  The original writings (tablets) and letters of The Báb , Bahá’u’lláh and Abdu’l-Bahá are of profound spiritual importance and the faith has always attached significance to its historical records.   Shoghi Effendi, its head from 1921 to 1957, noted,

‘The importance of the institution of Bahá’í Archives is not due only to the many teaching facilities it procures, but is essentially to be found in the vast amount of historical data and information it offers both to the present day administrators of the Cause, and to the Bahá’í historians of the future. The institution of Bahá’í Archives is indeed a most valuable storehouse of information regarding all aspects of the Faith, historical, administrative as well as doctrinal’
(From a letter to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, 25 September 1936)

American Bahá’ís have an impressive National Bahá’í Archives, while the Bahá’í International Archives was first of the buildings to be erected in the Arc, the Bahá’í headquarters buildings in Haifa, Israel.

The Bahá’í International Archives building

By Guillaume Paumier (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

The archives of the British Bahá’ís may have a new home shortly.  The website of the Wilmette Institute, a US Bahá’í centre, reports that the Afnan Library is due to move into a former Baptist chapel in Sandy, Bedfordshire.   

The Afnan Library was established in the will of Hasan M. Balyuzi (1908-1980), an eminent scholar and a descendant of the Báb to be a central research resource for the Bahá’í faith in Britain.  It is currently in temporary housing.  The report suggests the new Library will house 10,000 books, ‘vast quantities of manuscripts, handwritten letters, maps, documents, periodicals, and unpublished items’ and also temporarily hold the archive of the Bahá’í National Spiritual Assembly of the UK.

Archives as a religious calling

Few religious organisations place archives quite as centrally to their mission as John Carver Ministries, based in Maryland. Their website notes, ‘In order to go forward, you must remember from whence you came. The heritage (what is handed down from one generation to the next; inheritance) of the past is the seed that brings forth the harvest of the future. If there is going to be a harvest of souls in the future, then we must preserve the events of the past. That is why an archives is so important.’ http://www.faithoutreachinternational.org/archives/index.cfm.

A.A. Allen poster
(Published with permission of Healing and Revival Press, http://healingandrevival.com/)

John Carver Jr’s personal testimony, ‘How Did God Use Me to Develop the Faith Outreach Archives?’ at http://www.johncarverministries.org/about/references/AboutUs.pdf recounts how God called him to seek out and rescue archives relating to previous pastors offering healing ministries, such as A.A. Allen,

‘Because so many ministers of the past failed to preserve their ministries, Faith Outreach Archives has become a record chamber to preserve the memory of our Christian heritage. In the interest of generations that will come after us, we are working to recall and store up the information that is an important witness of our past.

‘Proverbs 2:1-5 says, “My son if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; so that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thy heart to understanding; yea if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.” This scripture was the basis for my search for knowledge and has become the highlight of the Faith Outreach Archives.’