Transforming the communities of Essex & East London through Christ’s presence

FFor centuries our parish churches have been built, decorated and furnished to the highest quality of artistic skill and craftsmanship, in order to inspire the soul to soar to God in worship, the mind to engage with the truth of the Christian Gospel, and the body to engage in mission with the wider society.

The Diocesan Advisory Committee is concerned that for a variety of reasons relatively few faculty applications are for proposals that are individual design initiatives for a particular church. There is an increasing tendency for parishes and donors to select standard items from catalogues which may lack individuality and devalue the unique quality of each building. It has therefore instituted a Design Awards Scheme since 1999 to encourage and reward parishes for commissioning new works.

The Awards Scheme applies to everything which requires Faculty consent, from small items such as candlesticks and light fittings, to glass, memorial, sculptures, paintings, furniture etc. through to reordering schemes, whole building developments, churchyard schemes for landscaping, laying out areas to inter cremated remains, or tree planting projects. Neither the scale nor the cost of the work is important, and inner city, suburban, rural and town centre churches have equal opportunity within this Scheme. The number of awards each year will be at the discretion of the judges, and will take the form of a certificate presented on a suitable occasion.

It is hoped that the Awards Scheme will stimulate parishes to seek designs which:

  1. are culturally appropriate to the area and its population;
  2. have theological integrity;
  3. encourage worship and mission; and
  4. enhance the special character of that church.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, applications for this year’s scheme only must be for projects completed between 1st January 2019 and 31st December 2021.

Judging will be undertaken by persons selected by the Diocesan Advisory Committee and the results will be announced later in the year.

All applicants must complete the application form, accompanied with appropriate quality coloured photographs, drawings, plans and other materials and upload to section on Diocesan website.

Much as the judges would like to visit each church to assess the applications this simply is not possible so judging and awards are based solely on the evidence submitted with the application form – it is therefore essential that you submit as much evidence as possible e.g. good quality coloured photographs of both ‘before’ and ‘after’ and full plans where appropriate: Don't be afraid to submit too much information rather than too little.

Submit your application below

Please complete a summary of the subject of the application to assist the judges in assessing the design - in particular including explanatory details of the designer’s intentions and the relevance of the design to the church, its history or its setting.

Judging is based solely on the evidence submitted with the application form (no visits will be made by judges) – therefore enclose as much evidence as possible (e.g. quality coloured photographs are essential and drawings, especially showing ‘before and after’ if possible and other materials and upload onto system, where building work has taken place, please enclose architect’s plans.

The DAC Department is continuing to work remotely and will do for the foreseeable future. When it is safe to return to the Diocesan Office we will accept hard copy applications if this is your preferred option - download an application form post the detailed application to DAC Design Awards, Chelmsford Diocesan Office, 53 New Street, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1AT


Please note that the DAC Office will accept all applications as they arrive, it will be for the nominee submitting the application to ensure the application is detailed and all documents are made available before the deadline date. The DAC Office will not contact any persons/parish seeking additional information.

The personal data provided in this form will be processed for the purposes relating to the application to the DAC design awards scheme which includes distribution to the judging panel and contact with the applicant. Any photographs submitted may be used to publicise the awards through the diocesan website, social media and printed publications. A copy of the Chelmsford Diocesan Board of Finance’s Privacy Notice is available here -

Design Awards application

Personal information:

Please upload any photos or videos:
Files to include jpeg, mp4 or wav - max file size: 5MB

Please reduce the file size of the images if possible to avoid the form failing to submit.

For more information about how we use your data and our Privacy Policy - click here.