Wednesfield churches hoping for £10,000 art prize

Three churches in Wednesfield are waiting to find out if they have won a £10,000 art prize.

St Thomas’s, St Alban’s and St Augustine & St Chad’s will be told on Monday whether their bid to receive the prize fund from the Church of England's Church Buildings Council was successful.

The prize fund was established by the council a year ago to encourage parish churches to engage their communities in a new artwork that would enhance the beauty and significance of their church building.

Reverend Claire Turner, curate for the three churches and a former gallery educator, is enthusiastic about the competition and keeping her fingers crossed for good news.

"We want a tangible legacy at the end – something that can move between the churches but it’s about the people of this place," she said.

"When working with a high-calibre artist, you see their process: they are like a magpie, discerning and collecting stories, coming from outside and seeing with fresh eyes, thinking about how we reveal and celebrate the history when one church doesn’t have its own building.

"I’ve seen how resident artists can be a huge benefit in periods of massive change: they come without an agenda but reveal what is unsaid and hopefully bring good stuff to the surface."