Church History Committee and Network meetings were held on the 11th and 12th of October 2019. Besides committee members, Elder and Sister Rigby, European Church History Advisers were in attendance. The purpose was to report on different aspects of church history, make final plans to achieve goals for 2019, and set goals for 2020. The agreed goals for 2019 included delivering agreed numbers of church-history and oral-history articles, completing a book on the building-missionary era, and delivering 50 Church history sharing activities.
During the meeting, Elder and Sister Rigby spoke of developments in Europe and expressed their thanks for the organisational model that has been established in the UK and Ireland. Brother Arnold Jones spoke on the current situation in the UK and Ireland: 20 serving church-history specialists; twice-yearly committee meets; committee members taking lead responsibilities in their assigned areas.
Training was then given in each facet of Church-history work:
- Brother James Perry and Sister Sylvia Brown spoke on the ‘Church Building Era’ project
- Elder and Sister Rigby outlined the process for preparing annual histories and the aim for 100% submission in 2020.
- Sister June Jones reported on oral history, and how documentation could be improved. She showed the resources available on the Church’s website.
- Sister Jill Morgan identified the types of ‘historic place’ that have been documented, historic places included milestones, special events, places dedicated for worship, and graves of missionaries who died in service.
- Sister Freda Entwistle presented her ‘Penyard Experience’ that pulled together her research into the wooden hut that was a chapel in Penyard, Merthyr Tydfil.
- Elder Haw, service missionary at Gadfield Elm chapel, spoke of the work done there. About three thousand people visit the chapel. A documentary has been made. He showed a video of Elder Jeffrey R Holland speaking of his connection with the John and Jane Benbow Farm.
- Brother James Perry trained the group in the process of publishing articles.
- Sister Jill Morgan gave a session on writing articles. Stories can be used in LDS communities as well as being put on non-LDS web pages.
- Sister Sylvia Brown explored activities that could be used to share Church history, including firesides, sacrament talks, exhibitions, displays, posters, musical productions, website and social media postings, and publications of various kinds.
Elder Rigby concluded, saying how much he had enjoyed and learned from the meeting.
Brother Arnold Jones thanked everyone for all they had done to make the event a success. He spoke of the annual plan for 2020. He stressed that committee members were not directly responsible for doing all Church-history work but were responsible for ensuring that the work gets done. He ended with a quote from Elder Holland, “May even greater days come.”