Church Monuments Society

CMS Members Prizes Monument of the Month CMS Publications Events Monuments Bibliography Resources Links Noticeboard Search this site

The Society is a registered charity. No.279597 Registered Office: The Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London. W1V 0HS Copyright (c) 2016 CMS. All rights reserved.

The Church Monuments Society offers three prizes:

Guide book                          Essay                          Photography

Church Monuments Society Photography Competition 2017

This year the Church Monuments Society is running a photography competition: the entry forms will be in the Newsletter and on the web site i the autumn, but please look snappy over the summer. The closing date is 31 December 2017

There will be three classes:

Over 18, prize £150

13-18, prize £100

Under 13, prize £50

The subject is any funerary Monument inside a church or located in a churchyard or a consecrated burial ground (eg Bunhill Fields) commemorating a person or persons. War memorials or subjects from cemeteries, whether private or municipal, are not eligible.

Either an accurate representation or an artistic representation will be acceptable, but there should be no Photoshopping EXCEPT level and colour balance, and local contrast adjustments plus minor tweaking. Any effects are to be done in-camera.

Entries must be unmounted matt prints, size 8x10". Both colour and b&w are acceptable.

Prints will not be returned after the event.

It is hoped that a selection of the entries will be displayed at the 2018 AGM.


1. In 2016/7 the Church Monuments Society (CMS) will award a prize of £200 for the church guide book or leaflet which provides the best guide to that church’s funerary and other monuments. It will not be a competition for the best church guide as such: the treatment of the monuments would be the criterion -- superlative treatment of a group of undistinguished monuments would beat a mediocre account of outstanding ones.

2. This initiative has been launched by the CMS with the following aims:

  1. to increase knowledge of monuments amongst those who care for churches;
  2. to improve interest in church monuments amongst those who visit churches;
  3. to improve the quality of church guides as they address monuments: often the building’s architecture and history are covered in detail, but the monuments in and associated with the church are stinted in treatment.

3. Guides covering all aspects of the church and those just addressing just the monuments would both be eligible. The aim is to get people who read the guidebook to look at the monuments with greater attention and curiosity and to provide them with information from which they could learn. It is planned to repeat the competition every three years: the full rules for the 2016 contest are set out below.

4. An initial screening panel will assess the 2016 entries and compile a shortlist of six. Dr David Meara, F.S.A. will make the final decision on the winning entry.

5. Entries should be sent to Dr Clive Easter, 55 Bowden Park Road, Crownhill, Plymouth, Devon, PL6 5NG.

The closing date is 31 December 2016.

The prize will be awarded in the spring and an appropriate venue is being investigated at which to hold the presentation. Full details of the presentation venue will be published as soon as they are known.We want to attract a good entry. These can come direct from churches but we also encourage CMS members to nominate by sending in guides that they consider especially meritorious, preferably notifying the church in question that they have done so. Please help us to make this initiative a resounding success.


1. There shall be a prize of £200 called The Church Monuments Society Church Guide Prize, to be awarded together with a certificate, for the church guide book which provides the best guide to a church’s monuments.

2. The competition is open to all parish churches and chapels in the British Isles.

3. Only guidebooks published by the church itself will be eligible. Guides that form part of a series produced by a commercial firm or are extended essays in or from a learned journal will not be eligible.

4. The guide may be one specifically on the monuments, or a general guide to the church that gives good coverage of the monuments.

5. The 2016 competition will be open to all churches that meet the criteria in Rules 2 and 3 and have produced a new or updated guide since the previous contest.  

6. The competition is open to all churches, not just those with spectacular collections of monuments: a guide which provides an excellent introduction to an average group of monuments will be judged more highly than a pedestrian guide to magnificent ones.

7. Aspects of the monuments which might be addressed are not prescribed, but they could include information on the person/s commemorated, the sculptor/s, the aesthetic value of the monument/s, their history and iconography.

8. Entries may be submitted either by the PCC of the church itself or by any individual, but the winning church will be the recipient of the prize.

9. A panel of three judges appointed by the Council of the Church Monuments Society will produce a short list of no more than 6 guides. The final decision will be made by a nominated assessor; in 2016 this will be Dr David Meara.

10. Entries should be sent to Dr Clive Easter, 55 Bowden Park Road, Crownhill, Plymouth, Devon, PL6 5NG.

11. The closing date for entries is 31 December 2016.

12. Churches submitting guides that are included within the shortlist of 6 will receive feedback from the judges on their entry.

13. The decision of the judges shall be final, and there will be no further correspondence about this decision.

14.  This competition is not open to guides written by members of the Church Monuments Society Council or any of its officers.

15.  Submitted materials will not be returned.

16.  The Church Monuments Society cannot be held responsible for the loss of any material submitted for this prize.

* * *


In 2006 the Council of the Church Monuments Society launched a biennial prize of £250 called the Church Monuments Essay Prize, to be awarded with a certificate for the best essay submitted in the relevant year. The aim of the competition is to stimulate more people, particularly those who are perhaps aiming to write on church monuments for the first time or who are not regular contributors, to submit material for the CMS journal Church Monuments. The competition is therefore open only to those who have not previously published an article in Church Monuments.  

The Church Monuments Society Essay Prize for 2016 was won by Trudi Brink: the runners-up were Christiane Mueller-Hazenbos, Joanna Wolanska and Moira Ackers. Congratulations to all of them.

* * *