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Heritage Celebrated as 2024 Sussex Heritage Trust Awards Announced

By March 6, 2024No Comments
Interior photograph of Berwick Church which features colourful religious and WW2 images on the walls.

The 2024 Sussex Heritage Trust Awards were launched at St Michael and All Angels Church in Berwick on Tuesday 5th March 2024, kindly sponsored by Toovey’s Antique and Fine Art Auctioneers and Valuers.

David Cowan, Chairman of the Sussex Heritage Trust, formally announced the 2024 Awards in front of guests including the Lord-Lieutenant of East Sussex, Andrew Blackman CStJ, and the High Sheriff of East Sussex, Richard Bickersteth. Guests were given an overview of the restoration project at the church by the project team, Revd Peter Blee and Crispin Freeman.

St Michael and All Angels is of national importance due to the renowned Bloomsbury Group paintings by Duncan Grant, Vanessa Bell and Quentin Bell, which were commissioned by Bishop Bell in the 1940s. In 2020, the Grade I listed church received a grant from the National Heritage Lottery Fund to assess the condition, restore and conserve the paintings, whilst also ensuring a suitable environment for their long-term future. In 2023, in recognition of this work, the church achieved a Sussex Heritage Trust Award in the Ecclesiastical category and was the overall winner of The Eco Award in its inaugural year.

The Awards, sponsored by Irwin Mitchell, are now in their 26th year and celebrate the very best of conservation, restoration and good design of newly built projects across Sussex, as well as encouraging the use of traditional skills and crafts. There are also categories for landscape, building craftspeople and an overall Award for projects based in the South Downs National Park.

For details on how to enter the Awards please go to – the deadline for entries is Friday 22nd March 2024, with the Award ceremony taking place on Wednesday 10th July 2024 at Lancing College Chapel.

David Cowan, Chairman of the Sussex Heritage Trust said:

“The Sussex Heritage Trust Awards make a significant contribution to the preservation and appreciation of Sussex’s architectural and natural heritage, and the Church at Berwick certainly demonstrates the aims and ambitions of our scheme. Thank you to all the sponsors and friends of the Sussex Heritage Trust, who allow us to continue our important work to improve Sussex’s rich and diverse heritage.”

Revd Peter Blee said:

“It has been a privilege for St Michael and All Angels church, Berwick to host the launch of the 2024 Sussex Heritage Trust Awards. The church is a unique example of the complete decoration of a historic rural parish church by the contemporary artists, Duncan Grant, Vanessa Bell and Quentin Bell during the Second World War. We’re grateful to the NLHF for the 64% grant that enabled the project to go ahead and at the same time facilitated outreach and has helped us shape a new vision of the church as a place of retreat where spirituality draws on the heritage, creativity, and the natural environment of its setting. The two Sussex Heritage Trust Awards are a wonderful recognition of the contributions of so many different people each with their different skills, but all essential to the final outcome.”

Image credit:  love heart photography

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