News and Updates from NHCT

The National Church Awards 2023

27 June 2023

The National Church Awards – the ‘BAFTAs for churches’ – is back and bigger than ever. Nominations have officially opened, with churches across the UK now able to enter for awards in architecture, volunteering, tourism and so much more.

Churches have an amazing story to tell – from their beautiful buildings to the dedicated volunteers who keep them open and serving local people – but they need help. With the future of many churches uncertain and under threat, there has never been a more important time to celebrate the UK’s churches and their importance to communities.

Nominations will close on July 23, 2023, with judging then taking place by church and heritage experts. The awards ceremony will take place on Monday 6 November at the fabulous Mercer’s Hall, London. 

Claire Walker, Chief Executive of the National Churches Trust, said:

“Churches are the beating hearts of communities. They contribute £55 billion of economic and social good each year, bringing communities together to help them to thrive. We are excited to host an awards ceremony that showcases their importance, as well as the many other wonderful ways they contribute to society.”

“This is a great opportunity for people across the UK to join with us in celebrating local churches and their buildings.”

Canon Easter, former Chaplain to the late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who hosted the awards last year, and will be returning as host this year said:

“It was a great privilege to host these awards last year. It was lovely to see churches from across the whole of the UK nominated and cheered on by their communities. But there are many more churches doing wonderful work, and I hope they will enter for an award this year.”

Churches can easily nominate themselves for an award by going to:

Church funding opportunity – keep your building in good repair

Churches across the Northumbrian Region are being encouraged to take advantage of a funding opportunity this summer.

The Northumbria Historic Churches Trust has been helping to keep places of worship in good order since it was established in 1980.

The deadline for the latest wave of funding is fast approaching. But those who are unable to submit their application by the 30th June will have another opportunity when the final deadline of 2023 falls on 1st November.

Funding is available in two sizes this year – small grants of up to £10,000 and large grants of above £10,000.

The trust’s new chairman John Anderson said: “Following a successful re-launch of the charity in mid-April, we are witnessing the fruits of our labours with more churches demonstrating tangible interest in applying for grants; several have already benefited, as you will read, and we are now hoping more will be encouraged to come forward with worthwhile schemes that we can also support.”

Last year, the Northumbria Historic Churches Trust was able to help 17 church projects of various sizes. They included stonework repairs at Hexham Abbey and at All Saints Church, Gateshead; as well as wiring repairs at St Mary’s Church, Easington.

A more recent case study is St Gabriel’s at Heaton in Newcastle.

St. Gabriel's was recently awarded £5,000 from the trust to help with the improvement of its toilet facilities, with works completed in May 2023.

The parish committee concluded: "St. Gabriel’s is a church used a great deal by the community and we like to be a welcoming church to all. The grant given to St. Gabriel's from Northumbria Historic Churches Trust has enabled us to refurbish our church toilets to a standard that you would expect in the twenty-first century as well as providing much needed additional storage space. We are very grateful indeed.”

To apply, visit