The Parish Church Photographic Survey
About C. B. Newham
I was born in South Yarra, Victoria, Australia in 1965 and attended Camberwell Grammar School. At the end of 1977 our family moved to Perth, Western Australia and I completed my schooling at Scotch College. I attended the University of Western Australia where I studied Computer Science, Information Technology and Human Geography. I completed my Bachelor of Science degree in 1987 and subsequently found work at Universal Defence Systems (later Australian Defence Industries) as a software engineer. After nine years in the same job I decided to move to the United Kingdom and in September 1996 was employed in London as an IT contractor.
Not wishing to travel into London on weekends to sight-see, I decided to start visiting the historic buildings in Berkshire listed in Pevsner's Buildings of England. Digital point-and-shoot cameras had just become available at a reasonable price and I purchased one in January 1997 with the intention of taking a few pictures of each building I visited. This soon developed into a fairly comprehensive photographic record of churches (the easiest sites to access) and I decided to concentrate on ecclesiastical buildings. The general parameters of what would become my great project to record all of the rural parish churches in England was set at this early stage and I have avoided the temptation to expand beyond the original remit. The general scheme is the same at each church: photographs are taken of the exterior and interior followed by of objects of interest (mostly pre-1900) including monuments, hatchments, pulpits, fonts, wall paintings, stained glass, etc.
Over the past decades I have moved around the country, employed by different IT companies, and this has allowed me to cover over 80% of the rural parish churches in England. My photography is carried out to a very high standard using professional equipment and I aim to achieve the best possible results. My recent book Country Church Monuments showcases 365 monuments which I have photographed, but this represents only a tiny fraction of the monuments I have recorded and is, in turn, only a fraction of my complete photographic record of rural parish churches.