The first ever National Church Awards to celebrate churches and the people who use and look after them are now open for entries.
The categories for the 2022 awards are:
- Church architecture
- Church maintenance
- Church volunteers
- Church tourism
A special prize for the UK’s ‘Church of the Year’ also forms part of the awards, being run by the National Churches Trust. This will be chosen from the winners of the individual categories.
The National Church Awards are open to any church, chapel or meeting house in the UK and are free to enter. Nominations will be judged by a team of church and heritage professionals. Churches can enter for as many categories as they wish.
Winners will include churches from each of the four nations - England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - as well as UK wide.
The National Church Awards will culminate in a high profile ceremony, including a glorious high tea, to be held at the historic Mercers Company Livery Hall in the City of London in October 2022.
Claire Walker, Chief Executive of the National Churches Trust, said:
“Churches, chapels and meeting houses are impressive, exciting and surprising. We want to keep them open and in use.”
“Our new National Church Awards bring together all that is brilliant about the work happening in and around church buildings. Architecture, conservation, maintenance, supporting volunteers and providing a great welcome are all hugely important to the future of our churches.”
“Judges will also be choosing the UK's Church of the Year, a very special award which will go to a church that makes an outstanding difference to both the congregation and also the wider local community.”
“We're really excited to be celebrating the UK’s amazing churches and the people who care for them and look forward to entries from all parts of the UK.”
“Our special thanks to our partners, the Ecclesiastical Architects & Surveyors Association, Ecclesiastical Insurance, the Marsh Charitable Trust, the Mercers Company and the Pilgrim Trust for their support of the 2022 National Church Awards.”
There are four categories and churches can enter for as many as they want.
Church Architecture Awards
The church architecture awards are run in partnership with the Ecclesiastical Architects & Surveyors Association (EASA). They honour excellence and creativity in church architecture. There are three categories:
The King of Prussia Gold Medal is awarded for innovative, high quality church conservation or repair work. The architects responsible for the winning project will receive the prestigious King of Prussia Gold Medal.
Presidents' Award celebrates the best new church building, including re-ordering, extensions or alterations to existing church buildings. The winning will receive the historic ICBS silver Chalice and Patten.
The Young Architect or Surveyor of the Year celebrates he best young talent working on churches today. The Young Architect or Surveyor of the Year is supported by Ecclesiastical Insurance.
The closing date for entries to the Church Architecture Awards is Friday 8 July 2022.
Church Maintenance Awards
The Nayler Awards for Excellence in Church Maintenance are run in partnership with the Pilgrim Trust
The awards celebrate the people who look after local churches. Each year volunteers help to keep church buildings in good condition. Helping with maintenance is always rewarding and is also often fun. Judges will be looking for outstanding individuals or teams who keep church buildings open and in good repair.
There will be a winner from each of the four nations; England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and also an overall winner. Each national winner will receive a £2,500 prize and the overall winner will receive an additional £2,500.
The closing date for entries to the Church Maintenance Awards is Monday 1 August 2022.
Church Volunteer Awards
The Church and Community Volunteer Awards are run in partnership with the Marsh Charitable Trust.
The awards celebrate the positive ways that people use churches to benefit local communities and people. Most recently this was evident during Covid-19. Judges will be looking for innovative, volunteer led activity happening at churches.
There will be a winner from each of the four nations; England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and also an overall winner. Each national winner will receive a £750 prize, and the overall winner will receive an additional £750.
The closing date for entries to the Church Volunteer Awards is Monday 1 August 2022.
Church Tourism Awards
Churches should be open and welcoming for visitors to explore. Every church can give a warm welcome and has a story to tell. Millions of people visit churches every year; whether popping in on a day trip or as part of a walk, attending a wedding, or as a church crawler or heritage explorer.
Judges will be looking for churches that go the extra mile in welcoming visitors and that make a positive impact by being open and welcoming to all.
There will be a winner from each of the four nations; England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and also an overall winner.
The closing date for entries to the Church Tourism Awards is Monday 1 August 2022.