Buttress is celebrating after its restoration and re-ordering project at St Mary's Church in Melton Mowbray scooped the Presidents' Award at this year's National Churches Trust & EASA Church Architecture Awards.
The £2 million project, considered the church's biggest renovation in 200 years, involved the laying of new stone floor underfloor heating, the creation of a new internal north-west porch as well as the installation of new lighting and a new audio-visual system.
A new refreshment facility was also designed to improve the church's catering facilities and to support its growing role as a space for community events. The servery exists within its own self-contained cupboard beneath the church's north transept window and can be entirely concealed when not in use.
This concealable, movable unit is intended to have as little physical and aesthetic impact on the interior of the church as possible, while providing a new and desired facility for visitors, worshippers, staff and volunteers.
Luke March, Chairman of the National Churches Trust said: “I’m delighted that the 2018 Church Architecture Awards, which are run by the National Churches Trust and the Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association, have this year recognised two major repair and restoration projects.”
“Church architecture is such an important part of the UK’s built environment. The work of architects and surveyors is so important in keeping church buildings in good repair, in modernising churches and chapels so that they can serve the needs of our age and in designing new churches that speak of our age.”
“Each year, many millions of pounds are spent on church architecture. This boosts local economies and provides employment for architects and surveyors and also for a wide range of craftsmen and women, specialist builders and contractors.”
Commenting on the win, Nicholas Rank, Director at Buttress said: "The Presidents' Award is one of the most coveted awards for church architecture so it is a real privilege to accept it for our work at St Mary's.
"A popular parish church, St Mary’s plays a central role in local area. The work has helped the church enhance its community offer by providing improved, functional and flexible facilities that will preserve the building for future generations, while also allowing it to cater for an increasing number of visitors."
First awarded in 1999, the Presidents' Award is named after three presidents: The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of York as Joint Presidents of the National Churches Trust, and the EASA President. The award is given for the best example of new design in re-ordering, alterations, extensions or new buildings which are specifically for liturgical use.