Church architecture wins prizes

    Prize winner: St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Derby. Photo: Tristan Poyser
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    Awards for the best new and restored church architecture have been announced on 6 November at a ceremony held at Westminster Cathedral Hall, London.

    St Michael’s Church, Othery, Somerset. Photo: National Churches Trust
    St Michael’s Church, Othery, Somerset. Photo: National Churches Trust

    The Presidents’ Award for new church architecture

    The Presidents’ Award is presented annually on behalf of the Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association President and the National Churches Trust’s Joint Presidents, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. The award was won by Evans Vettori Architects for the new hall at St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Derby.

    The eye-catching new building in the centre of Derby consists of a multi-purpose hall with kitchen, storage and toilet facilities. A new opening with sliding folding doors, created in the wall of the existing church, allows the hall to be opened up to the church space.

    Two projects entered for the Presidents’ Award were Highly Commended by the judges. They were the reordering and restoration of St Bartholomew Church, Wilmslow, Cheshire by architects Buttress, and the design and construction of a small but complex extension to the church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Studley, Warwickshire by architects John C Goom.

    King of Prussia Gold Medal for conservation architecture

    The King of Prussia Gold Medal for innovative, high quality church conservation or repair work has been won in 2014 by Beech Tyldesley Architects for their repairs to the tower of St Michael’s Church, Othery, Somerset.

    The Gold Medal was the gift of King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia in 1857, who was highly impressed with British Victorian church architecture.

    St Michael’s is a Grade I listed church with an impressive 15th-century perpendicular tower. Work included repair and consolidation of the lias stonework of the tower, walls and buttresses, conservation work to the dressed stonework and careful restoration work to the tower statues and niches. The project has already won the William Stansell Somerset Conservation Building Award.

    Claire Walker, CEO of the National Churches Trust said: “The National Churches Trust is proud to be a joint sponsor of these awards, which recognise the expertise and talent of church architects. This year we received entries for some exceptional projects involving Church of England, Roman Catholic and Methodist churches.

    “Evans Vettori Architects are to be congratulated for their bold winning entry which will serve the parish of St Joseph’s Roman Catholic church in Derby and also help make the church even more of an asset to the wider local community. Built on a modest budget, it shows how imaginative modern architecture can bring new life to a church.

    “Beech Tyldesley, winner of King of Prussia Gold Medal demonstrated in depth skill and expertise in their project to repair the tower of St Michael’s church, Othery, Somerset. The extensive works have renovated the ailing tower fabric, greatly improved its appearance and made it secure for many years to come.”

    The awards were presented to the winning architects and representatives of the churches at a ceremony held at Westminster Cathedral Hall, London SW1 on 6 November 2014.

    For more information about the National Churches Trust see www.nationalchurchestrust.org

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