UK Church Architecture Awards 2019

Published: Thursday, October 31, 2019


Two major repair and restoration projects have won the 2019 UK 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 the church of St Mary Magdalene in Paddington, London on Thursday, 31 October  2019.

Presidents’ award

A project by Roz Barr Architects to restore and refurbish St Augustine’s Roman Catholic church, an unlisted Edwardian church in Hammersmith, London, won the 2019 Presidents’ Award, given for new church buildings and new designs in re-ordering, alteration, or extension. 

The project has already won the 2018 RIBA London Award and the 2018 RIBA National Award. 

The Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO ARIBA, Vice President of the National Churches Trust, presented the Presidents’ Award, a chalice and paten commissioned by the Incorporated Church Building Society and made after World War II,  together with a £500 cheque,  to the winners.

Luke March, Chairman of the National Churches Trust said:

“This project has liberated a cluttered interior and brings new life and movement into the building. Of particular note is the collaboration between art and architecture with  new sacred spaces including a new altar, confessionals, lecterns, candle stands and a daringly contemporary tabernacle.”

Highly Commended

Bethnal Green Mission Church by architects Gatti Routh Rhodes was Highly Commended for the Presidents’ Award. This entirely new church forms the heart of a  new urban block which includes a community centre and café and 14 flats.

Luke March, Chairman of the National Churches Trust said:

“The creation of a new church within and often paid for by a larger development is very much a building type for the modern age. Bethnal Green Mission Church is a very well done example of this new type.”

King of Prussia Gold Medal

The King of Prussia Gold Medal for repair and conservation architecture was awarded to PPIY architects for their work on St Margaret’s church, Thimbleby, Lincolnshire.

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

Prince Nicholas von Preussen said:

“This was a fascinating architectural ‘who done it’.  The Victorian spire on this church had been deteriorating so much that the church was threatened with closure and spire had been removed in 2013.  After much detective work it was discovered that the specification of the 19th century architect James Fowler had included his favourite mortar, so called ’dog kennel lime’;  the mortar has a high magnesium content which led to destructive salts leaching through the  building including the spire. Armed with the new knowledge, architects PPIY re-built the spire and the church is now safe for the future."

Highly Commended

A project by Caroe and Partners to restore the derelict bell tower of St Mary the Virgin, Marden, Herefordshire was Highly Commended. When complete the project had also created a new community room on one of the floors within the tower and a small exhibition about the project and the church.

Young Architect of the Year

The award for Young Church Architect of the Year went to Alexa Stephens, the lead architect for the work to replace the spire at St Margaret’s church, Thimbleby. Alexa was the lead architect – and pioneering sleuth – for this  project.

She received a prize of £250, supported by Ecclesiastical Insurance.  Thanks to the generosity of Richard Carr-Archer, she also received a magnificent new trophy designed by stained glass artist Keith Barley.

Luke March, Chairman of the National Churches Trust said:

“The National Churches Trust exists to support churches, chapels and meeting houses so that they remain at the heart of the communities for which they were built and can continue to play an integral part in all our lives.”

“The work of architects and surveyors is so important in keeping churches open and in use.”

“We are delighted for our partnership on the UK Church Architecture Awards with the Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association. I am very grateful to their President Bob Thompson and Vice President Graeme Renton.”

“A particular thanks go to the judges who include HRH The Duke of Gloucester, Bob Allies founder of   the architectural practice of Allies and Morrison and to The Revd Lucy Winkett, Rector of St James’s church, Piccadilly who  joined the panel for the first time this year.”