In centuries past, members of royalty were inextricably linked with the building of new churches. And now, in the 21st century, one of The Queen’s cousins is giving his support to a competition to celebrate the very best in church architechture. The Duke of Gloucester is to be a guest judge in a prestigious contest to find outstanding design in churches.
The awards are being run by the National Churches Trust – of which The Duke is Vice Patron – and the Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association. He will help pick the winner for two prizes. The first is the President’s Award which recognizes new church building. The other is The King of Prussia’s Gold Medal which is given for innovative church repair or conservation work.
The judging panel has a royal guest with a formidable background in architecture as The Duke of Gloucester studied the subject at undergraduate and postgraduate level at Cambridge University. He became a partner in an architects firm in London but gave up his work when he tragically lost his older brother, William, in a plane crash in 1972 and became first in line to succeed his father as Duke of Gloucester.
Claire Walker, the Chief Executive of the National Churches Turst, made reference to The Duke’s experience as she said ‘We’re tremendously honoured that HRH The Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO has graciously agreed to be a special guest judge for the awards and we look forward to benefitting from his architectural expertise in choosing the winners.’
The National Churches Trust is an independent charity which works towards supporting church buildings of historic and community value right across the UK . Its annual design awards aim to spotlight that. The winning church or chapel in each category will receive a prize of £500 while the conservation award also brings with it The King of Prussia’s gold medal which was given by King Friedrich Wilhem IV of Prussia in 1857 to show his appreciation of Victorian church design.
The awards are open to projects at any church of any denomination in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The closing date for submissions is August 31st and the winners will be announced on November 5th at a special ceremony at Westminster Cathedral Hall.
Photo credit: Charlie Dave via Flickr