The Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Walkhampton has been shortlisted as a finalist for the South West Building Excellence Awards 2016 in the categories best public service building and best inclusive building. The awards ceremony is to take place in Plymouth on 1st July when the winner will be announced. Winners from the regions are then shortlisted for the grand finals in London later in the year.
Regional shortlisting itself is a remarkable achievement. Chloe Ellison, LABC Awards, Events & Marketing Coordinator says, “Competition has been stronger than ever this year, so to be shortlisted is a great accomplishment.”
The shortlisting recognizes the completion of work at St Mary’s with the installation of a new ringing floor with spiral staircase access, a full disabled toilet, a kitchen area and etched glass screen all of which make the church useable for events throughout the year.
“Great credit must go to our Architects Harris McMillan, Exeter for the concept and design work they put in over many years to hone the final plans,” commented Revd Preb Nick Shutt, Rector of West Dartmoor Mission Community. “It is remarkable to think that our small Dartmoor Church is being recognized in this way. Pride may be a sin, but we are rightly proud of the work undertaken on the church which has made it a building fit for purpose for the 21st century, a building that can better serve the local community as a place of worship and for community events.”
“Notwithstanding the completion of this major project, the building will still need further expensive major work to deal with water ingress in the bell tower and the renewal of the roof and ceiling in the nave,” commented Mr Shutt. “Medieval buildings need lots of tender loving care which doesn’t come cheap. For the moment though, we can give thanks to God for what has been achieved so far, whether or not we eventually win the award.”