A Northumberland church has beaten off competition from Canterbury Cathedral and Angel of the North creator Antony Gormley to win a top ecclesiastical art award.
St John’s Church at Healey, near Hexham, has taken this year’s Art in a Religious Context prize awarded by the charity Art & Christian Enquiry.
The award is for two commemorative stained glass windows by artists James Hugonin and Anne Vibeke Mou.
Other finalists for the accolade included sculptor Antony Gormley, who created human figures made up of old iron nails, for Canterbury Cathedral; Thomas Denny for Transfiguration, a stained glass window for Durham Cathedral, and Katy Armes for No Thing for Hellington Church, Norfolk.
The judges were chaired by the Dean of Chichester, the Very Rev Nicholas Frayling.
The prize is worth £4,000, with £1,500 each going to the artists and £1,000 to St John’s.
James is from County Durham and studied at the Chelsea School of Art. He has had shows in Cambridge, London, Edinburgh, the Baltic, Gateshead, and Germany.
He is shortlisted for this year’s Northern Art Prize which has opened at the Leeds City Art Gallery.
His window for St John’s is made of small rectangles of glass, some transparent and some translucent, in mainly red, blue, yellow and green. Although totally abstract, a double helix form can be made out in the patterns of colour.
Anne Vibeke Mou was born in Denmark and studied at the Royal College of Art. She now lives in Newcastle and has had shows in Denmark, Prague and London as well as at the National Glass Centre at Sunderland University. Her creation for St John’s is a pane of glass which has thousands of tiny marks on it, creating a cloud-like effect.
The windows were commissioned by Jamie Warde-Aldam as a memorial to his parents Julian andVirginia Warde-Aldam.
Laura Moffatt, Director of Art & Christian Enquiry, said: “This year’s ACE Awards have once again revealed the depth and diversity of artistic practice among faith communities in the UK. Our shortlists included an Islamic Hall of Remembrance and a major new stained glass window in a cathedral, as well as some very high quality works of art and architecture in small rural parish churches.”