Organisations caring for places of worship have until February to apply for a prestigious conservation award organised by the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB).
The annual John Betjeman Award celebrates excellence in the conservation and repair at places of worship of any faith in England and Wales. It is offered for work on fabric, fittings or furnishings carried out in the last 18 months at an historic church, chapel or other faith building which remains in use for worship.
The award takes the form of a scroll featuring a specially commissioned print by John Piper of the interior of Inglesham Church.
The 2016 winner was a project to conserve a medieval staircase at Church of St Michael and All Angels in Bishop’s Cleeve in Gloucestershire. The staircase is believed to have been built during the Wars of the Roses. It has treads made from solid oak and the handrail is a continuous piece of elm – possibly the whole length of an elm tree. The staircase still provides the only access to the bell-ringing chamber and needed to be stabilised for ongoing use.