The Search for the UK’s Best Modern Churches
The winners of ‘The UK’s Best Modern Churches’ competition were announced at a ceremony held at Lambeth Palace on 7 November 2013. The competition was run by the National Churches Trust in association with the Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association (EASA) and the 20th Century Society. Over 200 churches were nominated for the competition by the public, parishes and architects, which was open to church buildings or significant extensions to an existing building from any Christian denomination in the United Kingdom which opened for worship after 1 January 1953.
The criteria to enter the competition were that the Church was built since 1953, and it is still in use and contributes to the local community. Also it is for Churches of any denomination, but not for Cathedrals. The organisers of E.A.S.A. were adamant about how hard it was to choose the final three, and actually went through the last ten with a kind of order from the tenth the first. There were slides of each of those ten Churches, and each was a magnificent example of beauty.
St Mary’s, Leyland, was a winner, the silver award in this national competition out of 200 entries.
The gold award was for St. Paul’s Church in Bow Common, East London, known locally as the Gate of Heaven!
Jerzy Faczynski of Weightman and Bullen, 1964 Grade II
Judges remarks: A fine example of a church in the round. There is an amazing variety of expressive form which is beautifully composed as a whole. It is also very carefully sited with much consideration given to the surrounding landscaping. Lovely ‘dalle de verre’ glass by Patrick Reyntian. Elegantly articulated with a strong architectural form. Works well inside and out.