The Church Architecture Awards are run by the Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association (EASA) and the National Churches Trust, and the 2019 winners were announced at a ceremony held at St Mary Magdelene church, London on Thursday, 31 October 2019.

12 projects were shortlisted. They included: the construction of a new spire at  St Margaret’s church, Thimbleby, Lancashire (Architects - JABA Architect Ltd)  to replace a Victorian spire that had rotted away due to the use of ‘Dog Kennel Lime’; the re-ordering of St Augustine’s church in Hammersmith (Architects - Roz Barr Architects)including new sacred spaces include confessionals and a re-ordered sanctuary, as well as items such as new lecterns, candle stands and a tabernacle and the building of Bethnal Green Mission Church in east London  (Architects - Gatti Routh Rhodes)  which forms the heart of an elegant new urban block, which includes a community centre and café alongside 14 apartments.

 

The 2019 King of Prussia Gold Medal for repair and conservation architecture was awarded to PPIY architects for their work on rebuilding the spire at St Margaret’s church, Thimbleby, Lincolnshire.

Prince Nicholas von Preussen, Patron of EASA and Vice President of the National 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."

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.

 

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

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.

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.

 

The award for Young Church Architect of the Year 2019 went to Alexa Stephens, the lead architect for PPIY Architects on a project 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.

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.