The Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association (EASA) is a learned society, founded in 1872 as the Ecclesiastical Surveyors Association.
The Association encourages its members to take advantage of continuing professional development initiatives relating to their work on ecclesiastical buildings and ensures that its meetings provide adequate and varied input to satisfy this requirement.
Members share a desire to strive for excellence, to learn from each other and to improve the quality of service to their clients.
Today, it remains an entirely independent body, with a membership close to five hundred and growing. The Association offers its accumulated knowledge and expertise to English Heritage, Diocesan and other church authorities, and societies with similar interests. It seeks to represent its members in the furtherance of its ideals of scholarship, high standards and good practice.
There are three main meetings a year, including Spring and Summer meetings at different venues around the country and an AGM in London, as well as regional meetings for splendid educational and networking opportunities.
The objectives of the Association are to:
- advance the knowledge and practice of ecclesiastical architecture,
- uphold the professional integrity and the status of members,
- serve as a medium of friendly communication between members and others interested in ecclesiastical architecture,
- encourage facilities for the study of and training in the care of ecclesiastical buildings.
EASA carries out these objectives in a number of ways. There are three main meetings each year: the AGM (usually held in November in London), the Spring Meeting and the Summer Meeting. These two are held in different parts of the country, usually the choice of the current President and on his/her ‘patch’. Since the President changes annually, there is a wide range of regions that EASA members visit, and to date most of England, and parts of Wales and Scotland, have been covered.
The Spring and Summer meetings follow a format of lectures and presentations given either in the hotel or more usually in the churches that are visited. An introductory talk about the town or region is normally given by a local expert, and perhaps a guided walk is organised. In addition to the formal presentations, there is an Open Forum session for members to air views on current issues, and a small bookshop is provided (usually selling books about local buildings etc at a reduced cost). There is always ample opportunity, in the coach trips if not at meal-times, for members to chat informally to each other – this is just as valuable as the formal sessions for continuing the professional development encouraged by the Association.
Regional meetings are also organised around the country, on a variety of subjects, and EASA also holds occasional short courses on quinquennial inspection reports and specification writing, chiefly for new or younger members.
The lectures and visits organised for the main meetings form the core of the Syllabus planned each year by the President and the Education Sub-committee. In addition EASA provides courses in writing quinquennial inspection reports and specifications for church repair, as well as regional meetings covering other aspects of church work. These are all an important part of EASA’s role in enabling members to continue their professional development as church architects.
EASA publishes an attractive Journal three times each year and a more weighty Transactions every four or five years. The Journal reports on the meetings and on current issues, Transactions collects and transcribes some of the lectures given at meetings or commissions new articles. EASA has also produced a Reading List of books about ecclesiastical matters.
EASA encourages and recognises exemplary ecclesiastical work by awarding each year three awards: the King of Prussia Gold Medal Award, for repair work to churches, and in association with the National Churches Trust (formerly the Incorporated Church Building Society), the Presidents’ Award, for new work in churches. An award is also presented to a Young Architect or Surveyor of the Year who has been significantly iinvolved in one of the shortlisted schemes. The award presentations are made at the AGM and Autumn Meeting each year.
Throughout the year, officers of the EASA Committee keep in touch with, and attend high-level meetings with relevant organisations including Historic England, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Church Buildings Council, the Heritage Alliance, the Historic Religious Buildings Alliance, the RIBA, DAC’s etc. in order that the wider interests of the Association and its members are promoted.