Marsh Innovative Church Projects Award 2019 - Winners


Now in its fourth year, the Marsh Innovative Church Project Awards, run jointly by the National Churches Trust and the Marsh Christian Trust, is a competition to find the Christian congregations running the best community activities in a church building.

The awards were presented by Nick Carter on behalf of the Marsh Christian Trust together with Sam Jones of the Music Halls Project

Winner - The Lighthouse Project by Hackney Church, London

Judges selected The Lighthouse Project for outstanding awareness and responsiveness to its community, for an exceptional standard of delivery and innovative partnerships.  The church received a prize of £1,500.

Hackney Church (which includes Grade II* listed St John at Hackney and St Luke’s Homerton Terrace) helps over 800 people a week through the Lighthouse Project. Partnerships including a drop-in-lunch in collaboration with leading restaurant chain Moro. Hackney Church is also a partner in the new Hackney Church Brew Co.,  profits from which help to fund the church's work with the homeless and vulnerable.

Runner Up - The Holy Trinity Outreach Project at Holy Trinity without-the-walls, Blacon, Chester

Judges selected The Holy Trinity Outreach Project for being at the heart of its community, for excellence in the development and delivery of its vision and for providing fully joined up support.  The church received a prize of £500.

The Holy Trinity Outreach Project provides a range of services that help to reduce isolation and loneliness, support well-being, and link to further help and a healthy lifestyle. Activities include the Meeting Place Community Café, a place of welcome with crafts; a Gardening Project and Cooking Made Simple classes which launched in 2018 after kitchen facilities were expanded with the help of grant funding, including from the National Churches Trust.

The following projects were also shortlisted for the awards.

  • Christ Church PCC partnership with Circus Central and Christ Church of England Primary School, Christ Church, Shieldfield, Newcastle.

Shortlisted for innovation in new uses for this important Grade II* church. Circus Central offers a range of classes and events teaching circus skills. An arrangement with the North East Circus Development Trust means that the church and church school share the site. This provides funding for the church building and improved facilities so that it can continue to be used for worship and by the public.

  • Daylight Music and the Margins Café, Union Chapel, Islington, London

Shortlisted for activities delivering multiple benefits, Daylight Music’s ‘pay-what-you-can’ lunchtime concerts in the Grade I listed Union Chapel, organised and curated by Ben Eshmade of Arctic Circle, attract large audiences and create volunteering opportunities. During concerts the Margins’ Café team serve tea, coffee, bacon butties and homemade cakes. The Café is staffed by trainees on a paid Supported Employment Programme run by The Margins Project which helps people facing homelessness, crisis and isolation. The kitchen was funded by the National Churches Trust.

Shortlisted for providing great volunteering programmes, a raft of well targeted activities and for inspiring others, Safehaven delivers exceptional services and resources to help homeless and other vulnerable people in Brighton through an extensive volunteer programme in a Grade II* listed church that had been threatened with closure.  A past grantee of the National Churches Trust, St Peter’s now works with and has inspired other congregations throughout Brighton and Hove.