2018 Church Architecture Award winners

Published: Thursday, November 1, 2018


Two major repair and restoration projects have won the 2018 Church Architecture Awards.

The Awards are run by the National Churches Trust and the Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association (EASA) and the winners were announced at a ceremony held at St Mellitus College, London on Thursday, 1 November 2018. A photo gallery can be seen at the bottom of this webpage.

King of Prussia Gold Medal

The conservation and restoration of the interior of Grade I Listed St Mary Magdalene Church, Paddington, London by Caroe Architecture Ltd won the 2018 King of Prussia Gold Medal awarded for innovative, high quality church conservation or repair work projects.

This conservation project has brought back to life the architectural and decorative quality of this Gothic Revival masterpiece, employing sensitivity and high standards in design and workmanship.

Prince Nicholas von Preussen, Patron of EASA presented the King of Prussia Gold Medal for repair and conservation architecture together with a £500 cheque to the winners.

A vital component of this work was the conservation cleaning of fine decorative painted ceilings in the Nave and Chancel, which were executed by a leading ecclesiastical artist of the day, Daniel Bell. The process involved in-depth trials and analysis to establish conservation techniques to carefully remove dirt and discoloured varnishes, which until recently disfigured and obscured these ceilings.

Past cleaning attempts had been very damaging, with some decorative features scoured harmfully. The treatment of the ceilings involved finding a careful balance between all cleaned surfaces in the Nave and Chancel, to appropriately highlight and accent the unique decorative features and key liturgical scenes, while creating visual harmony and balance of the whole. 

Overall the project will cost £7.2m of which the pure conservation and repair works are circa £2m.

Highly Commended

Two projects were Highly Commended for the King of Prussia Gold medal competition: Architects  Lloyd Evans Pritchard for their work on  bringing Dukinfield unitarian old chapel, Manchester  back to life and architect Rena Pitsilli-Graham for the major restoration of St Peter and St Paul in Upper Stoke, near Rochester in Kent.

Presidents’ Award

The renovation and improvements to Grade I Listed St Mary’s church, in Melton Mowbray Leicestershire by architects Buttress, won the 2018 Presidents’ Award,  given for new church buildings and new designs in re-ordering, alteration, or extension.  The church plays a key part in the community, including hosting the British Pie Awards.

A key aim for the project was to improve the church’s catering facilities to support its growing role as a space for community events. In response, the architects designed a new refreshment facility that can be entirely concealed when not in use. As a covered island unit, it can be wheeled out into the necessary position when required.

To make the church more comfortable, as well as accessible to a number of visitors, changes to the floor, lighting and audio-visual equipment were also undertaken. Underfloor heating has been installed, and a new stone floor was laid to remove the level change and return the floor to its pre-19th century height.

The Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO ARIBA, Vice President of the National Churches Trust, presented the Presidents’ Award  for new church buildings and re-orderings, extensions or alterations to existing church buildings together with a £500 cheque to the winners.

Highly Commended

Two project were Highly Commended for the Presidents’ Award: Potter Church & Holmes Architect for Ealing Green church, Ealing and GLM Architects for St Comghan's chapel, Kilchoan, Scotland.

Young Architect of the Year

The award for Young Church Architect of the Year went to Pippa Jacob for work on the re-ordering and introduction of new facilities at St Edmund King & Martyr Church, Southwold, Suffolk.

The work at St Edmund King and Martyr in Southwold, Suffolk involved a complete re-ordering of the west end of this Grade I listed church to create new facilities and a more flexible space.  Using limed oak, the church now has a new shop, welcome desk and WC’s behind a new oak screen.   In addition, four rows of pews were removed and a new floor laid. The result of the work has already led to an increase in worshippers and extra uses of the church.

Luke March, Chairman of the National Churches Trust said:

“I’m delighted that the 2018 Church Architecture Awards, which are run by the National Churches Trust and the Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association, have this year recognised two major repair and restoration projects.”

 “Church architecture is such an important part of the UK’s built environment. The work of architects and surveyors is so important in keeping church buildings in good repair, in modernising churches and chapels so that they can serve the needs of our age and in designing new churches that speak of our age.” 

 “Each year, many millions of pounds are spent on church architecture. This boosts local economies and provides employment for architects and surveyors and also for a wide range of craftsmen and women, specialist builders and contractors.”