Daedalus

All Saints Church at the RICS Awards

12 May 2015

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We are proud to announce that one of our most recent projects, All Saints Church, came Highly Commended for Building Conservation at the RICS Awards London 2015.

All Saints Church is an ancient place of worship in the heart of the historic market town of Kingston. Dating from the 14th and 15th centuries, it sits upon the site of an earlier 10th century church, where it is believed the first kings of England were crowned.  

Despite being one of the oldest buildings in the town, it had been largely obscured and forgotten, with access difficult and very low footfall during the week. People weren't making use of the facilities and the conditions inside were dark and uncomfortable. Artefacts from Victorian to medieval in origin, were held in storage.

Alongside architect Ptolemy Dean, the project team worked to open up the church and sensitively restore it in line with modern requirements; whilst celebrating its historic artefacts and bringing to life their educational value. The project sought to make the building light and uplifting for ecclesiastical and secular uses alike, challenging assumptions about what a church can be. 

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This has been a very special project to work on, unique in the strong drive that came from local residents. They fundraised and campaigned to restore a building that has served valuable community functions over the centuries, as well as being of national historic importance. They showed great patience as the church remained open throughout the works, while we worked in sealed off sections.

The results have been received with enormous positivity and culminated in a celebratory re-opening service in September, led by the Bishop of Kingston. Footfall has already more than doubled and visitors are enjoying the warm and ambient interior. A full educational programme is underway and there are plans to extend opening hours to hold evening events such as musical performances and art exhibitions.

They won't be stopping there, as there are ambitions for the church to feature on tourist map as a day trip alongside Hampton Court Palace. Following the works, Reverend Jonathan Wilkes commented;

"I have a little saying which says that everyone goes to heaven - sinners, non believers, people of differing faiths - everyone, that is except for builders.  But I've had to change it. Because in Dædalus Conservation we could not have found a more courteous, helpful, committed, skilled bunch of builders anywhere else on the planet." 

You can view all this year's winners on the RICS website