St John the Baptist church Scampton has been selected as the double award winner for both England and UK at the National Church Awards 2022.  

The church won in the Open for Visitors category, and the team behind the entry was invited to a sparkling high tea at Mercers' Hall in the City of London on 24th October 2022, hosted by comedian Hugh Dennis and Canon Ann Easter.  

Judges chose winners from over 200 nominations made by churches throughout the UK. As well as one overall winner in each of the four categories, winners were also chosen in each category for England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. 

St John the Baptist church Scampton, Lincolnshire. 

The judges were excited about the passionate way that Scampton church maintains Lincolnshire’s aviation heritage. They highlighted the fact that to attract visitors, the church works closely with other local tourist attractions and food and drink outlets to help create a whole day out for visitors. 

Revd Sue Deacon, Ordained Local Minister of Scampton Church, said: “We were blown away that a small church in a small village in Lincolnshire could win such prestigious awards. 

“All this would not have been made possible without the dedication over the past four years of Joe Bartrop our Project Manager and a team from the church. I thank them all for all their sleepless nights, financial brains, and frustration!” 

Archdeacon of Stow and Lindsey, The Venerable Aly Buxton, said: “This is such brilliant news. I am thrilled for all involved in making this happen, St John the Baptist Church and the Diocese of Lincoln. 

“Awards like this do not come as an overnight success but take years of work and dedication. These awards are a testament to the hard work of the PCC and congregation of St John’s. Congratulations to everyone involved!” 

Revd Sue Deacon and Joe Bartrop enjoying the awards evening.

St John the Baptist church dates from the 14th century and had a major restoration in the Victorian period. In the 20th century an RAF chapel was created in memory of fallen servicemen and other personnel from RAF Scampton. It sits just one mile from RAF Scampton where the Dambusters Squadron was formed.  

The churchyard contains 107 Commonwealth War and Service Graves. The church is open daily and works closely with other partners on the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Trail to attract local and international visitors. It currently has around 1,000 visitors a year, but these numbers are expected to increase substantially after the completion of a restoration project.  

The church will receive a prize of £1,000 for its efforts.