12 January, 2022
We are delighted to announce that St Matthew's Church, Surbiton, has been named as the UK's best maintained church by National Churches Trust and has won the Nayler Award.
Back in 2019-2020, the USL team worked on the essential conservation project to restore the faulty tower and spire, which were placed on the ‘at risk’ register by Historic England. Phase 1 of the project was carried out over 40 weeks comprising of spire restoration, stone masonry repairs, new stone carvings, timber and glazing restoration, internal refurbishment, drainage, and lighting alternations as well as other specialist services.
The Winning Church
In selecting St Matthew's church in Surbiton as the winning entry, judges praised the team who look after the Grade II* Listed building for having in place a robust maintenance plan and for their practical solutions to solving problems faced by a building that is over 150 years old.
Judges also highlighted the involvement of volunteers in the church's regular 'Maintenance Mornings' which include bacon butties to encourage involvement by the congregation in keeping the church windproof and watertight.
Twelve churches were shortlisted for The Nayler Awards in 2021.
Rev Helen Hancock, Team Rector of St Matthew's church said:
"We are delighted to have won The 2021 Nayler Awards for Excellence in Church Maintenance. In the last three years we have completed a significant spire and tower repair project. That has helped us to realise that we need to have a regular maintenance plan in place."
"Maintenance work is largely driven by our wonderful volunteers who help St Matthew's to continue to be a beacon of light. It is a huge responsibility to look after a church building of this age. So it is really encouraging to have received this award which recognises how we are adding to the life of our community and looking after the heritage of our building."
You can find out more about this ‘Excellence in Church Maintenance Award’ as well as see Rev. Helen Hancock (Team Rector St Matthews, Surbiton) explain the restoration and maintenance programme of the church.