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Applications open for SPAB’s John Betjeman Award 2019

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) has opened applications for the John Betjeman Award 2019.

The award was established in 1990 and named in honour of writer, conservation campaigner and SPAB Committee member (1952-1977) Sir John Betjeman to celebrate excellence in the repair of places of worship of all denominations and faiths in England and Wales, including the Isle of Man. 

The award is given for repairs to a specific element of a building, rather than for a general programme of works, and projects must have been completed within the previous 18 months. Work of any scale is eligible, but must be to the fabric of the building (e.g. tower, wall, roof, floor) or to a significant element of its furnishing (e.g. monument, screen, tomb, pew, pulpit). Cathedrals are not eligible.

Most importantly, the award is always made to the building rather than to an individual, so this is a chance for a whole community to celebrate the quality of work completed in its building. 

How to enter

  • Use the entry form to tell SPAB about your project and return it by post to The SPAB, Spital Square, London, E1 6DY or by email with attachments to (or by file transfer).
  • Please give a brief description of the project and the work carried out, and include photographs (12 minimum, 24 maximum) showing the project before, during and after the work.
  • The form should be signed by the incumbent or church warden for Anglican buildings, by the priest for Roman Catholic buildings, by the minister or an elder for Non-Conformist buildings, or by their equivalent in other faiths.

A panel of expert judges will assess the entries. They may ask for more detailed information, such as copies of professional reports or drawings, to help them select a shortlist. They may also wish to visit shortlisted buildings, along with a representative of the entrant and others who were involved in the project. The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. The SPAB will publicise competition entries and outcomes. Winner(s) and shortlisted entrants may be asked to submit (without fee) an article of up to 1500 words for the SPAB Magazine.

The closing date is 26 February 2019. 

Find more information here.


Image: JBA winner 2017


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