Local Treasures - The Marsh Awards 2020


 We are delighted to announce the winners of the 2020 Marsh Awards, in partnership with the Marsh Christian Trust.

2020 has been an unprecedented year with many new challenges for us all. We saw an extraordinary response in voluntary efforts to help people through the initial Covid-19 lockdown and subsequent uncertainties. Church communities were frequently at the forefront of vital local initiatives to help people in need.

Organised by the National Churches Trust in partnership with the Marsh Christian Trust and Distributed Sound & Video Ltd (DSAV Ltd), these Awards are a celebration of the selfless contributions made by church volunteers across the UK.

Eight churches from each of the countries of the UK were shortlisted to win the Marsh Church and Community Heroes Awards 2020, supported by the Marsh Christian Trust. Individuals and groups of volunteers with inspiring stories to tell are celebrated. Each winning church received a prize of £1,000.  

Mount Merrion church

The 2020 winners

  Scotland  - presented by Annie McCarthy from Marsh Christian Trust

  • St Mary's Church, Port Glasgow

For providing vital community support which is tailored to the needs of local people. They have combatted a lack of resources and the fact that a large proportion of the community have no access to the internet to maintain their sense of community during this time.  They just rolled up their sleves and got on with doing what was right.


England - presented by Tom Sheldon, The Mercer's Company

  • SHINE at St Stephen Church, Bowling, Bradford

For the multitude of activities including the children's clothes bank which was created following the need expressed from a head teacher who noticed children arriving at school in unsuitable clothing during winter. The cookery pamphlet was inspirational, showing how to cook cheap and healthy meals from the food being distributed in food parcels. They are a local parish church that is committed to its parish always.


Northern Ireland - presented by Luke March of the National Churches Trust

  • Mount Merrion Church, Belfast

Under normal circumstances the church delivers an enormous number of support programmes with a strong focus on wellbeing, health, good nutrition through allotment projects, shared meals and education in an area of high deprivation. During this last year, the church has gone over and beyond this including lobbying local politicians and councillors for free wifi for school children to access.


Wales - presented by Sam Jones, Music Halls Project

  • Morriston Tabernacle, Morriston

Known as the 'cathedral of chapels', it is famous for choral music. Before lockdown it had started to grow a great programme of additional activities for the community as well as an even greater contribution to Welsh musical and cultural traditions. For some people the activities in the Tabernacle are their social life, a place to come out, meet others and avoid social isolation.


The 2020 runners-up

Scotland  -  Houston and Killkellan Kirk

England  -   Sacred Heart Church, Tamworth

Northern Ireland  -   Bloomfield Presbyterian Church, Belfast

Wales  -  St Cynhafal Church, Llangynhafal


This event is to thank the selfless volunteers who do so much to help people through their church and is for anyone with a passion for the UK's unique and irreplaceable heritage of church buildings.