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Parishes with Silver Plate

Parish Plate

Church silver is often among the most precious and valuable items owned by a parish. It is therefore important that it be stored in appropriate conditions and properly secured, cared for and recorded. To assist parishes with what can be a pressing problem, many cathedrals have a treasury where parishes can deposit their plate on ‘permanent loan’. Christ Church Cathedral is one such, and the Dean and Canons of Christ Church are willing to house silver plate for parishes in the Diocese of Oxford. Providing excellent storage conditions, the Christ Church Cathedral Treasury is a series of glass cases, located in the Cathedral Shop, where plate is displayed for the Cathedral’s many visitors.

As parish plate is a precious asset, strict procedures must be followed and are set out below.

Procedure for new deposits

The parish must first contact the Diocesan Registry to obtain a Faculty:
Oxford Diocesan Registry, 16 Beaumont Street, Oxford OX1 2LZ
Telephone: 01865 297208    Fax: 01865 726274   Email:

The Registry will explain the procedure.

On receipt of a Faculty the parish should then contact the Cathedral office (01865 276155 – the Cathedral requires both confirmation from the Registry and a copy of the Faculty.

1. The plate must be smart watermarked (SWM) with parish insurance SWM before receipt by Christ Church.
2. The person depositing the plate must bring photographic ID together with any documentation relevant to the plate being deposited (valuations, descriptions, history, photographs).
3. When the plate is brought to Christ Church for the Dean and Canons to take possession, the Cathedral Office will photograph the plate (unless photographs are provided by the parish) and record the measurements along with detailed descriptions of it.
4. Both parties (Cathedral and parish representatives) must sign and date two copies of a receipt for the plate. The Cathedral keeps one copy and the other is given to the parish for their records.
5. The item(s) will then be added to the Cathedral plate catalogue and assigned a catalogue number(s).
6. Once Christ Church takes possession the plate is covered by the Cathedral insurance policy.

Procedure for withdrawing plate

When a parish wishes to take back plate, either temporarily or permanently, it must apply to the Diocesan Registry for permission to do so, giving at least 5 working days’ notice. Once the Cathedral has been notified that this withdrawal is approved, the plate can be collected from, and then returned to, the Cathedral during office hours Mon – Fri 8am – 4pm. Dates/times for collection and return of the plate to Christ Church should be agreed with the Cathedral Office.

1. The person receiving the plate should please bring photographic ID with them.
2. The office will prepare, sign and date two copies of a receipt for the plate. The person taking possession
will also sign these. The Cathedral Office keeps one and the other is given to the parish for their
3. A note will be made in the Cathedral plate catalogue against the catalogue number(s) that the plate has
been, temporarily or permanently, returned to the parish short-term.
4. When borrowed back, the plate must be covered by the parish insurance for the duration.

Cathedral Office, January 2014

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