Find out more about the genres of records it is possible to research, in addition to helpful policies and forms and useful links for further information.



Parish registers

Parish registers (baptism, confirmation, marriage and death) are held by the local parish churches and not by the Diocesan Archives. Please contact the relevant parishes for enquiries, copies of certificates etc.

For information on the registers of the Metropolitan Cathedral Church of St George's, please email


Historical parish registers

Parish registers up to the year 1910 have been digitised and can be accessed through The last remaining registers will be uploaded onto that website during the course of 2021. For enquiries relating to registers up to the year 1910, please consult this website.


Records of the former Southwark Catholic Children’s Society

Records of the former Southwark Catholic Children’s Society (which operated under various names over its history including the Southwark Diocese Education Council and Rescue Society, the Southwark Catholic Children’s Society, the Catholic Children’s Society (Arundel and Brighton, Portsmouth and Southwark), and Cabrini) are split between the Southwark Diocesan Archives and an organisation called Diagrama. The Diocesan Archive holds material on the history of the Society while Diagrama holds all the care files.

For information on the history of the Children’s Society, please contact the Diocesan Archive.

For information on children who were in care, child migrants or those who were adopted, please contact Diagrama


Archive blog

Learn more about the unique history of the Archdiocese of Southwark.                                Posts about the contents of the archive can be found on the Archive’s blogspot:

Visit the Archives Blogspot

Archive Policies and Forms

Southwark’ is pleased to provide a range of policies and forms to enable a clear understanding and use of the diocesan archives

Various  Southwark archive letters and articles

Useful links

Catholic Archive Society:

Catholic Heritage (the website for the Networking Archives and Libraries in the Catholic Church project):

The Diocesan Intranet page contains detailed archive and record keeping advice for diocesan and parish staff.

Help and advice

The Diocesan Archive and Records Management team are happy to assist parishes and Diocesan staff with any record or archive-related query.



For help and advice on parish or diocesan archives, their preservation, identifying historically valuable records, transferring records to the Diocesan Archive, accessing the Diocesan Archive or assistance with research into the history of a parish, for example, please contact:

Jenny Delves                                                                                                                              Diocesan Archivist                                                                                                                            150 St George’s Rd                                                                                                                      SE1 6HX


T: 020 7928 5592 

Records management

For help and advice on such things as retention schedules, recordkeeping, disposal advice, GDPR etc, please contact:

Records Management Officer:


Jenny Delves, Diocesan Archivist:


Record keeping and Retention Advice for parishes

This document gives advice to parishes on how best to care for their records – both records that are in current use and records that have been kept as archives. It contains a retention schedule for parishes setting out how long documents should be kept for.

It also contains:

  • Advice on storing records.
  • Information on secure shredding.
  • Information on data protection and GDPR.
  • Links to further advice and resources.


Retention Schedule

This retention schedule sets out how long the Diocese needs to keep its records for and when, and how, they can be disposed of. It applies to records in all formats, including paper and electronic information.

Please note that this retention schedule was created for the Diocesan Finance Office. However, it can be used by all Diocesan departments and agencies. If you have a record group that is not covered by this retention schedule, please email the Diocesan Archivist who will be able to help.


Data Protection, GDPR and Parish Archives

This document sets out how to care for parish archives in light of GDPR. GDPR makes it clear that archives are to be protected. This means that personal data already in parish archives should not be removed, destroyed or changed in any way and that personal data worthy of permanent preservation should be safeguarded and added to the parish archive rather than destroyed



The Archivist is currently arranging for each parish that has had its registers digitised to be given a free log-in to the Findmypast website so that they can access and search the digital copies of their parish registers. If your parish has not yet set this up, please create a free account on using your parish email address. Then let the Archivist know that this account has been set up and she will ask Findmypast to upgrade this into a full, free account.

Parishes will also be given digital images (usually TIFF but other formats can be requested) of their registers for themselves once all the registers are online in 2021

Sacraments of the Catholic Church

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Arrival Of The Celebrant, 7 July 1935, Canterbury Parish

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Catholic Boys’ Brigade Camp, C.1905

Accessing Diocesan Archives

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Florence Nightingale’S Signature On A Letter She Sent To Bishop Grant During The Crimean War

Registers, Policies and Links

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