‘Spectacular’ new church for Benedictine nuns wins top architecture prize

Published: Thursday, November 3, 2016


The winners of the 2016 Church Architecture Awards have been announced at a ceremony attended by HRH The Duke of Gloucester at St Mellitus College, London SW5, on Thursday 3 November 2016.

Presidents’ Award

Stanbrook Abbey Church, a spectacular new building in the North York Moors National Park built for an order of Benedictine nuns and designed by architects Feilden Clegg and Bradley Studios, has won the 2016 Presidents’ Award for new church buildings.

Stanbrook Abbey Church was built for the Conventus of Our Lady of Consolation who relocated from their original 19th Century abbey building in Worcestershire. They chose a remote site on the edge of the North York Moors.

From the outside, the building presents a soaring curved facade reminiscent of a theme-park roller coaster, faced in vertical timber slats, which have weathered to grey.

This year, the Presidents’ Award was jointly awarded to a project to extend and provide new facilities for the parish church of St Mary and St Thomas of Canterbury, Wymondham, Norfolk, designed by architects Freeland Rees Roberts.

The new extensions provide much needed facilities including a new sacristy, choir vestry, servery, lavatories and storage to cater for a wide range of activities, interpretation and learning.

King of Prussia Gold Medal

The King of Prussia Gold Medal for church repair and conservation architecture was won by architects Lloyd Evans Prichard for their work to restore the spire of Sir George Gilbert Scott’s St James church, New Brighton, Merseyside.

Architects Jonathan Rhind were highly commended for their King of Prussia entry for tower and belfry repairs to St Mary’s church, High Bickington, Devon.

Young Church Architect of the Year

The winner of a new award, The Young Church Architect of the Year, was also announced at the Church Architecture Awards.  The award recognises the contribution being made to church buildings by architects in the early stages of their career.  It is given to young architect who has worked on a winning or shortlisted design entered for The King of Prussia Gold Medal or the Presidents’ Award.

The first Young Church Architect Award went to Tania Gomez-Duran, Associate at Freeland Rees Roberts, for her work on St Mary and St Thomas of Canterbury, Wymondham, Norfolk.

The Church Architecture Awards are run by the Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association and the National Churches Trust