John Betjeman Award shortlist announced

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The 2019 John Betjeman Award for excellence in conservation at places of worship of all denominations and faiths in England and Wales drew an impressive 23 entries from around the country. We were especially pleased to see the Roman Catholic Church, the United Reformed Church, and the Church in Wales represented this year. 
The submissions illustrated a broad cross-section of projects caring for faith buildings – from repair of structural and decorative stonework and sculpture, to conservation of funerary monuments and other memorials, stained glass, wall paintings and internal furnishings such as screens. As in previous years, a number of projects focused on repairing damage caused by damp, insects, dry rot and vandals.  Others addressed the need to keep buildings wind and weather-tight, including roof repairs in a range of traditional materials: lead, stone slate and tile. This year’s entries were eloquent testimony to the importance of these buildings in their locality and community, how they are valued and shared by those who care for them and, in a number of cases, how crucial a well-timed conservation project has been to keeping the building open and in use.  
Following careful deliberation, the judges selected four projects to visit: 
Tower repairs at St Oswald, Grasmere, Cumbria
Stone conservation in the Greenway Chapel at St Peter, Tiverton, Devon
Carpentry repairs to the wagon roof at All Saints, Dodington, Somerset
Tower repairs at St Nicholas, West Lexham, Norfolk
The winner will be announced, and the award presented, at the SPAB members’ meeting at Boxley Abbey on 13 July.

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