Indellible Ink | Register entries

My apologies if this is covered elsewhere on the website.

I recently had a conversation with the Rector about ink for the registers. He thought that we should use indellible ink so that it doesn't fade over time. I use permenant ink, but looking at the Wedding Register information from my diocese it says we should use blue/black ink from Ecclesistical Supplies. This is provided in a bottle. There is also a fountain pen with a special convertor. Is this ink only needed in the wedding register, or also in the service register, burial register, baptism register?! Please let me know what you do in your church! Thank you, Vicky.

Vicky Johnston


Hi Vicky,

We tend to use the indelible ink for all of our registers and banns certificates and things, purely because the ink contains something (I want to say iron, but not 100% certain) which can clog up the fountain pen nib if not used regularly. I keep a pen and a bottle of ink in the office, and there is a pen and bottle of ink in the vestry. Every now and again I swap them over so that they are getting equal and consistent use. My thinking is that if we look after the pens, they can last indefinitely and then we just have to replace the ink when we run out, although knowing the track record of things walking, or getting lost or damaged, this might be wishful thinking! I hope that helps, Kirsty

Hi, We use the registrars ink in all our registers. When I enquired as to what was special about the ink compared with 'normal' permanent ink I was told that the chemical composition means it will survive extreme circumstances such as flood damage and is meant to last over 200 years. To protect our pens we were told to flush them through with water each time we refill them.One point I would like to know from everyone though - do you replace your ink annually? I have been told that you should throw away the remnants of a bottle after a year because the salt content increases over time due toevaporation - does anyone else know if this is correct? Chantelle Gardner


We use the ink from Ecclesiastical Supplies for all our registers too. I didn't know that it should be regularly replaced until after our Bishop visited for our new vicar's Institution Service last year so that huge, very formal entry in our Service Register is rather insipid! We don't have many weddings/funerals which means the bottle lasts ages so it would be useful to know what the exact shelf-life is. Caroline Bowen

Hi Vicky, You have to use registrars ink (which is the ink that you have found) and have to use it for all registers and also on Wedding Certificates. This is because the ink doesn't fade or deteriorate in water etc. Martin Dudley