St Matthew, Surbiton has won the 2021 Nayler Awards for Excellence in Church Maintenance,  it was announced at a special online ceremony on Friday 19 November.  The award also comes with £7,500 in prize money.

Now in their second year, the Nayler Awards for Excellence in Church Maintenance are supported by the Pilgrim Trust and organised by the National Churches Trust. Named after Georgina Nayler, former director of the Pilgrim Trust, the awards celebrate the work of the thousands of volunteers who look after the UK’s church buildings.

Judges praised the St Matthew’s 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 more than 150 years old. They also highlighted the church’s regular “Maintenance Mornings”, where bacon butties are offered to encourage the congregation in helping to keep the church windproof and watertight.

The Revd Helen Hancock, Team Rector of Tolworth, Hook & Surbiton Team Ministry, of which St Matthew’s is a part, 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. The 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 and so it is a real encouragement 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.”

Claire Walker, Chief Executive of the National Churches Trust, described St Matthew’s as “well-deserved winners” of the award, adding: “The church is a great example of how having in place a good maintenance plan helps to prevent costly repair bills. Our thanks go to the Pilgrim Trust who support the Nayler Awards which celebrate the unsung heroes who keep church buildings well maintained and fit for the future.”

Sue Bowers, Director of the Pilgrim Trust, said: “Many congratulations to St Matthew’s Church in Surbiton for winning this year’s Nayler Awards for Excellence in Church Maintenance, thanks to the team effort of all those involved in looking after the building.”

If you’re looking for advice on church maintenance, visit our DAC & Church Buildings pages for helpful information, practical tips and links to grants that might help your church.