THE ASSOCIATION OF
Diocesan and Cathedral Archaeologists
Who we are
Under the Care of Cathedrals Measure (1990) it became a statutory requirement for each cathedral to have a consultant archaeologist. All dioceses have a Diocesan Archaeological Advisor (DAA), sometimes more than one. Some parish churches have their own consultants too. Thus there are over 80 professional archaeologists concerned with cathedrals and parish churches in England. In addition there are many people in other related professions who are interested in the management of the archaeology of churches.
Under the guidance of the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England (CFCE), the cathedral archaeologists have had an association of their own for a number of years (the Association of Cathedral Archaeologists, or ACA). In 1999 a Working Party on Archaeology set up by the Council for Care of Churches (CCC) made a set of recommendations in their report Church archaeology: its care and management. One of these was that the CCC should employ an Archaeology Officer, which they now have (Dr Joseph Elders). Another was that DAAs should establish an organisation or association similar to the ACA. Discussion between DAAs and the ACA resulted in the proposal that a joint association would be the best way forward, and this was formed in 2000.
Whilst there exist constitutional differences in the workings of the cathedral and diocesan systems for the care of their historic buildings and sites, many of the issues, including the aim of developing and upholding the best standards of practice, are common to all those archaeologists working with ecclesiastical buildings in a professional capacity. The Association embraces these shared interests and concerns.
ADCA is a professional organisation which represents archaeologists who are charged with the proper conduct of archaeology of cathedrals and parish churches; this representation is to cathedral chapters (collectively or individually), English Heritage, and the two church bodies the CFCE and CBC. It promotes standards in all aspects of church archaeology and issues guidelines and policy notes. It holds an annual conference at which current issues can be examined. Other benefits and features include a newsletter, this website, and other measures to bring church archaeologists together and present their views.
The committee of the ADCA is working on several important policy issues. Working with other organisations where appropriate, guidance notes have recently been produced on archaeological requirements at churches, the adequate representation of archaeology in Conservation Management Plans and Statements of Significance, the proper approach to the excavation and study of human remains, and standards of employment for church archaeologists. New guidance notes are shortly to appear on dealing with moulded stones and fabric recording.
The Association of Diocesan and Cathedral Archaeologists was formed in 2000, through the enlargement of the Association of Cathedral Archaeologists to embrace Diocesan Archaeological Advisers and others working at churches to represent their interests and promote high professional standards.
The Association of Diocesan and Cathedral Archaeologists aims to develop and promote the highest standards of practice in cathedral and church archaeology, defined as the complete study of the fabric and material remains of a church, above and below ground, in relation to its site, contents and historic setting, and to the community it has served.
The objects of the Association will be:
i) to serve as a forum for the development and dissemination of the highest professional standards in the conservation, recording, analysis and publication of all aspects of the archaeological remains of' cathedrals and churches;
ii) to encourage, initiate or advise on programmes of research, training and education relating to cathedral archaeology and church archaeology;
iii) to provide a medium of communication amongst Cathedral Archaeological Consultants, Diocesan Archaeological Advisers and other archaeologists through the organisation of an annual conference;
iv) to maintain a register of all Cathedral Archaeological Consultants and Diocesan Archaeological Advisers;
v) to form and maintain close links with Cathedral Architects and with other bodies responsible for the care of the ecclesiastical heritage.
Membership will be open to persons holding the statutory appointment of Cathedral Archaeological Consultant under the terms of the Care of Cathedrals Measure 1990 in England and the Cathedral Fabric Rules 1993 in Wales, or of Diocesan Archaeological Advisor under the Care of Churches Measure 1990, and to other persons engaged in a professional archaeological capacity by the administrative body of a cathedral or a diocese. Persons holding similar archaeological appointments to cathedrals and Greater Churches in England, Wales and Scotland may be invited to join the Association. Others regularly engaged in a professional capacity in Church Archaeology may apply to join subject to approval by the executive committee.
4 Roles and duties of Church Archaeological Consultants
The Cathedral Archaeological Consultant and Diocesan Archaeological Advisers are responsible for advising the relevant ecclesiastical bodies on all matters for which they hold archaeological responsibilities, including the fabric, monuments, ornaments, furnishings and fittings of a church with its churchyard and precinct.
The Association will promote the principles relating to 'The Role and Duties of the Cathedral Archaeological Consultant' and 'The Role and Duties of the Diocesan Archaeological Adviser', which will be revised from time to time, and the general principles of good conduct and best practice in archaeology:
i) to adhere to the highest standards of ethical and responsible behaviour in archaeological affairs;
ii) to hold responsibility for the conservation of the archaeological heritage;
iii) to conduct work in such a way that reliable information about the past may be acquired, and that the results be properly recorded;
iv) to inform the management, maintenance and preservation of the cathedral or church, and to ensure its sustainable future
v) to rnake available tile results of archaeological work with reasonable dispatch.
In dispensing their roles and duties, archaeologists should have due regard to the fact that the churches are centres of worship and mission.
5 Committee and administration
The routine administration will be carried out by a Committee consisting of a Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and up to two other members of the Association. The Committee will be elected at an Annual General Meeting of the Association, to be held during the annual conference. Election to the Committee will normally be for three years; retiring members will be eligible for re-election.
The Committee will represent the membership of the Association in reviewing policy relating to church archaeology, liaising with professional bodies and organising conferences and meetings. All business will be reported to the Annual General Meeting and changes in policy submitted for approval.
The Committee will be responsible for the organisation of the annual conference and its programme. The conference may be open to non?members of the Association. The Annual General Meeting will be open only to members of the Association.
An annual subscription will be raised in order to assist with administrative costs; its level for the forthcoming year will be determined by vote of the members at the AGM. The Association's funds will be administered by the Treasurer. All cheques will be signed by two members of the Committee.
Archaeologist representatives of the CCC, the CFC(E) and the Church in Wales Cathedrals and Churches Commission will be invited to attend committee meetings and the AGM ex officio.
6 Alterations to the Constitution Additions or amendments to the Constitution may be proposed by the Committee or by any two members of the Association, to be submitted for approval by majority vote of those present at the Annual General Meeting. Rules of the Association come into effect immediately following confirmation at an Annual General Meeting.