Contrary to expectations, we don't have a large archive for each parish in the Diocese of Westminster. The exceptions to this are where a parish has arranged to deposit some or all of its parish archives with us. This means that if you are writing a parish history or researching some aspect of parish life and there are not extensive records in your parish and nothing has been sent to WDA, the likelihood is that the archive has been destroyed or lost over time. However, it is usually possible to find out quite a bit from diocesan papers, the Catholic Directory and Westminster Yearbook and Catholic newspapers such as the Tablet and Catholic Herald. It is also worth contacting your local authority archive or local studies centre as they may sometimes collect relevant material.
If you are a parish priest, administrator or parish archives volunteer, then please do contact us with any parish archive related queries. You might find our advice leaflet on how to care for parish archives helpful:
Parish Archives Advice Leaflet
We are also working on some retention schedules for parish paperwork and these will be posted here in due course.
The archives team is always happy to visit parishes, deanery meetings or clergy meetings to talk about our work, how to care for archives and to give advice -just get in touch