The CCT marks EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Award homecoming with local award ceremony at All Saints' Cambridge

The Churches Conservation Trust marked the homecoming of its 2015 European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Award for 46 years of dedicated service in conservation this week with a special ceremony at Grade I listed All Saints’ Church in Cambridge, in the presence of the Mayor of Cambridge, Councillor Robert Dryden, and Europa Nostra’s Secretary General Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailovi€à and Executive Vice-President John Sell.

The Churches Conservation Trust was declared a Grand Prix laureate and received €10,000 at the European Heritage Awards Ceremony in Oslo on 11th June 2015, representing a European recognition of the Dedicated Service of the national heritage charity over 46 years. This week’s special event in Cambridge – attended by representatives of a range of heritage organisations and former members of The Churches Conservation Trust team - marked the return of the award to the United Kingdom.

First established in 1969, The Churches Conservation Trust has saved a collection of 347 listed church buildings, which attract almost two million visitors a year. Last year, The Churches Conservation Trust unveiled its most ambitious project yet, the £4.3m regeneration of All Souls Bolton, creating a 21st century community facility within a Grade II* listed Victorian church, and this Saturday the charity is set to reopen the largest chapel of ease in England, St Nicholas’ Chapel in King’s Lynn after £2.7m of works.

Crispin Truman, Chief Executive of The Churches Conservation Trust said: “It was a real honour for The Churches Conservation Trust to be declared a Grand Prix laureate of the European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Award in Oslo in June. It was equally exciting to celebrate the homecoming of this international award in the presence of those supporters, staff and volunteers who have been part of CCT in our vital mission over the last 46 years. Without the support of those present, and everyone who has helped us over the years, it would be impossible for The Churches Conservation Trust to continue to save historic churches at risk around the country”.

Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailovi€à, Secretary General of Europa Nostra, said: ""The dedication of so many professionals and volunteers organised by The Churches Conservation Trust is truly impressive. It is also highly commendable that the Trust has decided to reach out beyond the borders of the United Kingdom and to share its expertise and experience with other NGOs caring for religious heritage in Europe, through the launch of the European network ‘Future for Religious Buildings’. Europe needs such examples of cross-border pooling of knowledge and related advocacy work.""

Considered Europe’s most prestigious prize in the heritage field, the 2015 EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Award recognised the Churches Conservation Trust in the category of Dedicated Service by Individuals or Organisations, acknowledging contributions over 46 years which demonstrate excellence in the protection, conservation and enhancement of cultural heritage in Europe, far exceeding normal expectations in the given context.

The ceremony was held at All Saints’ Church in Cambridge, a prominent Grade I listed landmark opposite historic Jesus College. The church was built in the 1860s to the plans by celebrated 19th-century Gothic Revival architect G.F. Bodley and is considered a triumph of Victorian art and design, with a stunning east window by William Morris, Edward Burne-Jones and Ford Madox Brown and other works by Wyndham Hope Hughes, C.E. Kempe and Co and Douglas Strachan.