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Caring for parish church records

Depositing records with the NRO

The Bishop of Norwich has designated the NRO as the Diocesan Record Office for the deposit of parish records in the Diocese of Norwich.

Similarly, the Bishop of Ely has appointed us as the place of deposit for parish records in the deanery of Fincham and Feltwell.

The Parochial Registers and Records Measure, passed by the General Synod in 1978 (amended 1993), requires the following to be deposited with the Diocesan Record Office:

  • All parish records more than 100 years old
  • All registers starting 150 or more years ago (with the exception of marriage registers from July 1837 onwards)

Such records may be retained in the parish only if the Bishop grants special permission.

Baptism, burial and banns registers, begun 150 or more years ago, should be closed and new register books purchased.

It is also best to replace any marriage registers which were started more than 150 years ago and are still in use.

You should take both copies of the marriage register to your local superintendent registrar, who will supply new marriage registers free of charge and arrange the official closure of the old registers.

They will return one copy of the register to be kept with the parish records. We advise that you deposit this copy with us for safekeeping.

You may deposit records that are not in current use (however recent in date) at the NRO. Please contact us to make an appointment to transfer the records.

We will give you a receipt for the records, and in due course an archivist will catalogue them. We make no charge for looking after documents, which remain the property of the parish.

Documents are stored securely in our temperature and humidity controlled repository, which is fitted with an automatic fire protection system and meets the relevant British standards.

See our guide Adding to Norfolk’s Archives for more information on transferring documents.