A Celebration of Excellence

The UK Church Architecture Awards honour excellence and creativity in church architecture. The Awards are run by EASA in conjunction with the National Churches Trust.

The Awards could not be held this year due to COVID-19 so were replaced by an online conference entitled A Celebration of Excellence - The best church architecture 2010 - 2019.

The event involved a review of the 2010 - 2019 winners of The King of Prussia Gold Medal for conservation architecture and The Presidents' Award for new church buildings and church re-ordering, alterations or extensions.

Following presentations of a shortlist by the judges, the winners were chosen in an online vote and the winning schemes were:

Stanbrook Abbey, a new monastery in the North Yorkshire Moors designed by Fielden Clegg Bradley Studios (which won the 2016 Presidents' Award)

and St Mark's church in Leeds, which was restored to its former glory by Richard Crooks Partnership in 2017 after having been made redundant in 2001 (which won the 2017 King of Prussia Gold Medal).

The two winners each received a £250 prize, provided by Ecclesiastical Insurance.

HRH The Duke of Gloucester, Vice Patron of the National Churches Trust, said: "The lock-down has not prevented the usual rate of decay for historic buildings, but it has delayed campaigns for fund-raising and restoration. I hope the 2020 awards for the best schemes of the last decade may demonstrate what is possible given the energy, skill and imagination of those involved in historic church preservation."

The judges for the Celebration of Excellence Awards were:

HRH The Duke of Gloucester, Vice Patron, National Churches Trust
Prince Nicholas von Preussen, Patron of EASA

Bob Allies OBE, Partner at Allies and Morrison Architects
Richard Griffiths, Director of Richard Griffiths Architects
Anna Joynt, Vice President of EASA
Ulrika Knox, Director Knox McConnell Architects and a Past President of EASA
Luke March, Chairman, National Churches Trust
Graeme Renton, President of EASA 2019 -20
Bob Thompson, a Past President of EASA and EASA Awards Officer
Catherine Townsend, Head of Church Support, National Churches Trust

UK Church Architecture Awards 2021

We hope to be running the awards as normal in 2021 - Look out for further information in May 2021.

ABOUT THE CHURCH ARCHITECTURE AWARDS

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

The Presidents’ Award

First awarded in 1999, it is named after three presidents: The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of York as Joint Presidents of the National Churches Trust, and the EASA President. The award is given for the best example of new design in re-ordering, alterations, extensions or new buildings which are specifically for liturgical use.

Award nominations are considered by the Association in conjunction with the National Churches Trust (formerly the ICBS) and awarded at the EASA Annual General Meeting. The award is given to the designer and the ICBS Chalice and Paten are lent to the winning parish to be held by them for the next year. The winning church or chapel will receive a £500 prize.

The King of Prussia Gold Medal

An award for the scheme of innovative, high quality church conservation or repair that overcomes the greatest aesthetic or technical challenge.

The award was established in 1844 by Christophe Karl Pfeuffer. He was a medallist and coin engraver who in 1840 received an appointment at the Berlin Mint. In 1845 he was promoted to the rank of first medallist to the Mint and was described as a person who was well endowed by nature, who modelled quickly and carefully, and took good likeness, but was perhaps too hasty and prolific. His medal of the Third Century of the Reformation at Berlin in 1839 is considered one of his most successful productions.

The Association is fortunate that our Patron Prince Nicholas von Preussen is a direct descendant of the King of Prussia for whom the medal was made. Prince Nicholas often tells the story of how it was presented to the ICBS (Incorporated Church Building Society) who did not know who to award it to, so it lay in an office drawer for many years until found in the 1960s. Today it is awarded annually. 

The Gold Medal was the gift of King Freidrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia in 1857 who was highly impressed with British Victorian church architecture. The architects responsible for the winning project will receive the prestigious King of Prussia Gold Medal.

The Young Architect or Surveyor of the Year

Introduced in 2016, the 'Young Architect or Surveyor of the Year' award is available to an architect under 40 who has been responsible for a shortlisted design of either a scheme for The King of Prussia Gold Medal or The Presidents' Award.