Award celebrating conservation projects at faith buildings

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Entries are invited now our prestigious John Betjeman Award for outstanding repairs to places of worship.

To celebrate 30 years of this prestigious award in 2020, we are extending the competition beyond England and Wales, to include faith buildings across the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Awards will be made for conservation projects in three areas:  England & Wales (including the Isle of Man); Scotland; and Ireland (Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland).   

The annual award is designed to celebrate excellence and reward the highest level of craftsmanship. Projects completed in the last 18 months are eligible for consideration.

The award is given for projects of repair or conservation at historic faith buildings (such as churches, chapels, meeting houses, synagogues, mosques, temples) which remain in use for worship. However, cathedrals of any denomination are not eligible.

Importantly, the award is always made to the building rather than to an individual, so this is a chance for a whole community to celebrate the quality of work completed in its building.

SPAB Ireland chair Tríona Byrne says: "We are thrilled to be bringing the John Betjeman Award to Ireland in 2020. It is a fantastic opportunity to champion some of the excellent, high-quality conservation work being carried out in Ireland and to promote the SPAB philosophy of building repair. We look forward to receiving many interesting entries from across the island, across buildings of all ages and faiths."

The competition honours the poet, writer and broadcaster Sir John Betjeman, marking his contribution to heritage and culture, and to the SPAB.

Some exciting projects have won the award over its long history. The Death Reawakened Project to research and conserve wall paintings at the Guild Chapel of the Holy Cross in Stratford upon Avon won in 2018. The striking Portico Project at St Pancras, Euston Road, London was 2017's winner. This year the award went to St Owsald's Church, Cumbria for repairs to the tower.The SPAB warmly encourage applications from all faith buildings. For more information (including details of past winners), and to apply, please visit the Award webpage

The closing date for applications is 25 February 2020.

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