An Award Winning Abbey

by Gerry Lynch last modified 16 Jul, 2013 04:02 PM

Sherborne Abbey receives prestigious nomination as one of the nation’s favourite churches .

An Award Winning Abbey

Historic Sherborne Abbey was founded in 705 as one of the original bishoprics of Saxon England

Sherborne Abbey is one of 60 places of worship initially nominated as ‘the UK’s Favourite Churches’, chosen by 60 top people from the worlds of politics, entertainment, journalism and academia. The nominations are part of the 60th anniversary celebrations of the National Churches Trust.

This initiative aims to promote awareness of churches as some of the UK’s most important and best loved buildings and of the need for continuing funding to keep them in good repair for future generations.

The Abbey was nominated by Camila Batmanghelidjh CBE, Founder and Chief Executive of Kids Company, a charity which provides practical, emotional and education support to vulnerable inner-city children.

In her nomination, Camila writes: ‘I love Sherborne Abbey. As a child, I used to hide in a cupboard of my boarding school not to go to church, but actually I love the Abbey!’

Canon Eric Woods, Vicar of Sherborne, responded to news of the nomination with delight. "We treasure the Abbey not only as a superb and thrilling building, but also as a place of prayer which inspires our congregations and visitors alike. We already have the accolade of being one of only 18 churches to win 5 stars in Simon Jenkins’ famous England’s 1000 Best Churches.  This is the icing on the cake, and I hope it will encourage many more people to visit us."

Bishop Nicholas Holtam is a trustee of the National Churches Trust. Since 1953, the Trust has helped to keep churches of all Christian denominations open by funding over 12,000 grants and loans, worth over £85 million at today’s prices, to pay for urgent repairs and the installation of modern facilities.  An independent charity, the National Churches Trust is funded entirely by voluntary donations.

Writing in The Times about his work with the Trust, Bishop Nicholas said: “With much of the history of Britain told through the churches, chapels and meeting houses scattered throughout the United Kingdom, it’s perhaps no surprise that around 40 per cent  of the UK’s places of worship are listed. These buildings provide inspiration, places of peace and are testaments to exquisite craftsmanship and the memory of their community. “

Members of the public can also nominate a favourite church via the website and social media. Anyone nominating a favourite church and members of a nominated church’s congregation will have a chance to attend a service celebrating the work of the National Churches Trust, to be held at Westminster Abbey in November

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