St Mary’s Church nominated for architectural conservation award

St Mary’s is up against Battersea Power Station for a conservation gong

Credit: Tim Crocker

St Mary’s Church in Walthamstow Village is up against Battersea Power Station for an architectural award.

The active church, which triples up as a community centre, arts hub and cafe, has been nominated for an architectural conservation award in a nod to the success of its regeneration project.

St Mary’s began its regeneration project after an architect’s report in 2015 indicated the church had to make urgent repairs to its building. The report prompted the church to look at how it could better serve the community around it. Nowadays it is home to the popular Froth & Rind cafe, and an arts exhibition space.

The regeneration project received £1.67million from Heritage Lottery funding and has roughly cost £3.4m in total.

Reverend Vanessa Conant, the rector at St Mary’s Walthamstow said: “In 2016, St Mary’s congregation began working to find a way to make essential repairs to Walthamstow’s oldest building, to get our building open throughout the week, to make the church a more welcoming space, and to serve more people in Walthamstow. 

“To be nominated for this award is a recognition of the many people who have supported this inclusive project, including Walthamstow residents, many of whom have donated money and are enthusiastically supporting the cafe and our many community activities. 

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“It is also a recognition of the excellent professional work that went in to re-designing, repairing and renovating this important ancient church and vital community resource. We’re proud to be nominated for this award and thankful to all who have made this project possible.”

The New London Awards (NLA), supported by the Mayor of London, celebrates projects of varying scales across London. Shortlisted projects are built and unbuilt; their common thread is a sustainable, well-designed and considered approach. 

Following the shortlist announcement, an international jury will select winners for each category. Winning projects will be announced at an award show taking place in November at the Guildhall and will include a three-course meal and official after party.

In its shortlist announcement, NLA London describes St Mary’s Walthamstow as a “transformative heritage project which both preserves and enhances a historic asset, and creates a welcoming community and arts hub within a working church.”

Recently, St Mary’s hosted Material Witnesses, an exhibition that celebrated local people through the lens of fashion and textiles.

Vote for this project in the People’s Choice Awards. The deadline for voting is the 8th October

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