The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

St John the Baptist Church, Lincoln, Sam Scorer, 1963

Top 10 Best Modern Churches shortlist announced

Twenty-four churches have been shortlisted for the Best Modern Churches architecture competition being run by the National Churches Trust, The Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association and the Twentieth Century Society.

From the shortlist of 24, judges will announce a Top 10 Best Modern Churches and award a ‘National Churches Trust Diamond Jubilee Architecture’ prize to the three places of worship judged to be the best sacred spaces built in the last 60 years at a ceremony to be held at Lambeth Palace on 7 November 2013. The awards will be presented by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.

Over 200 churches were nominated for the competition by members of the public, churches and heritage organisations, Church buildings or significant extensions to an existing building of any Christian denomination in the United Kingdom which opened for worship after 1st January 1953 are eligible for the competition.

Claire Walker, Chief Executive of the National Churches Trust said: “As a nation we are rightly proud of our magnificent heritage of historic churches. But there are also many exciting churches which have been built in the last 60 years designed for the changing nature of religious liturgy and practice which reflect modern architecture and design. The challenge of helping people catch a glimpse of heaven has always produced highly creative and imaginative architecture. This competition will help discover some of the best examples of modern church architecture and allow us to honour those responsible.”

The Best Modern Churches competition is being held to mark the 60th anniversary of the National Churches Trust. Since 1953 the Trust has provided over 12,000 grants and loans worth £85 million to help fund the repair and modernisation of Christian places of worship.

Judges for the awards are: Sherry Bates, President Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association, Richard Carr-Archer, Trustee of the National Churches Trust, Catherine Croft, Director of the 20th Century Society, Jonathan Glancey, writer and architecture critic.

The names and architects of the shortlisted churches are given below. They can also be seen on the website which gives details of all the churches.

Our Lady and St Columba RC Church, Wallsend Vincente Stienlet 1957

English Martyrs RC Church, Wallasey F X Velarde 1953

St Mary’s RC Church, Leyland Jerzy Faczynski (Weightman and Bullen) 1964

Scargill Chapel, Skipton George Pace 1960

St Mark’s Church, Broomhill, Sheffield George Pace 1963

St John the Baptist Church, Lincoln Sam Scorer 1963

St Joseph’s RC Church, Leicester T E Wilson 1968

St Paul’s Church, Harlow Derrick Humphreys 1959

St Paul’s Church, Bow Common Maguire & Murray 1960

Lumen United Reformed Church, Tavistock Place, London WC1 Thies & Kahn 2008

St Paul the Apostle, Harringay Inskip & Jenkins 1991

All Saints Church, Croydon Curtis Green 1956

SS Mary & Joseph RC Church, Poplar Adrian Gilbert Scott 1954

London Church of the Ascension, Wembley Park J Harold Gibbons 1957

Abbey Church, Douai Abbey, Woolhampton Michael Blee 1993

West of England Church of the Ascension, Crownhill, Plymouth Potter & Hare 1958

Bishop Edward King Chapel, Ripon College Cuddesdon Niall McLaughlin Architects 2013

RC Chapel of St Albert the Great, Edinburgh University Stuart Allan, Simpson & Brown 2012

Brucefield Church of Scotland, Whitburn, East Lothian Row and Anderson Kininmonth and Paul 1965 – 1966

St Francis Xavier RC Church, Falkirk A R Conlin 1961

St Bride’s RC Church, East Kilbride Isi Metzstein and Andy MacMillan (Gillespie, Kidd & Coia) 1964

Kildrum Parish Church, Cumbernauld Reiach & Hall 1965

Our Lady of Lourdes RC Church, Steelstown Liam McCormick 1975

St Molua’s Church, Upper Newtownards Road, Belfast Denis O’D Hanna 1963