The National Churches Trust and the Marsh Christian Trust are inviting entries for the “Marsh Awards for Innovative Church Projects”, a competition to find the Christian congregations running the most innovative community activities in a church building which have been made possible by the installation of new facilities in the last five years such as meeting spaces, kitchens, toilets or improved access.

Run with the support of the Marsh Christian Trust for the second year, the Awards are designed to show the positive impact that installing new facilities has on churches and local communities and on harnessing the energy and enthusiasm of volunteers.
How to nominate a church

Nominations for a community project at a church, chapel or meeting house are open online here:

The awards are open to any Christian congregation in the UK which is a member of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, and which has seen the installation of new facilities between 2012 and 2016.

Key criteria the judges will look for:
• Impact – the level of demonstrable social benefit.
• Best practice in management – the level of planning, organization, effort and coordination within the means and circumstances of the project organisers.
• Imagination – the origin of the idea and reasons for the project.
• Need – how deprived or marginalised communities are served by the project.
Nominations close on 13 January 2017. Judges will meet in March 2017 to shortlist entries. The winners will be announced on 18 May 2017 at the Churches Trusts Forum annual conference in Manchester.
A £1,000 award will be presented to the church judged to be the overall winner. There will also be a runners up award of £500.

Claire Walker, Chief Executive of the National Churches Trust, said: “New facilities such as kitchens, toilets or meeting spaces can help places of worship become community hubs which can provide increased and most valued support for local people. The ‘Marsh Awards for Innovative Church Projects’ provide an opportunity to showcase the best community projects being run in the UK’s church buildings. The National Churches Trust works to ensure that the UK’s churches are in good repair and able to serve local people. I’m delighted the Marsh Christian Trust makes these awards possible, which will applaud the vital contribution being made by church based volunteers.”

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