Friends’ Meeting House receives Alan Phillips’ Award


On Saturday 5 October the Sudbury Society’s Alan Phillips Award was presented at the Religious Society of Friends’ Meeting House in Friars Street. It was in recognition of the work done for the new entrance and the positive and beneficial contribution its refurbishment makes to the town.

The new porch fronts the old building with a shallow-pitched roof and timber supports and leads to light and airy entrance with a glazed roof. Additional improvements include better toilets, a separate entry into the schoolroom which is let out to groups, and the opportunity was taken to make the building better insulated and more energy efficient. The garden too has been revamped. Gone are the tall, overgrown plants in favour of gravel and containers, a water butt and timber fences to hide wheelie bins.

The new entrance

Proceedings were introduced by Betty Scrivener of the Friends, then Stephen Thorpe, Vice-chairman of the Sudbury Society, explained the background to the Alan Phillips Award which aims to encourage building owners to commission good design, at all levels, to match the town’s great architectural heritage. Design matters: buildings should contribute positively to their surroundings, not detract.

Lord Phillips, then presented the award (named after is father) to Sylvia Frith, Clerk of the Premises on behalf of the client, the Friends; to James Blackie on behalf of the architect (Tricker Blackie Associates) and designer and to John Younger on behalf of the contractor and  builders, John W. Younger.

Alan Phillips presents the Award to architect James Blackie

There had been some comment about the ‘wiggly path’ that leads from the street gate to the porch rather than the previous very straight and very narrow path. The curving was probably done as much for its aesthetic appeal as for any religious significance but for those who wish, it is possible to walk in a straight line from the gate to the porch without deviating!

Anne Grimshaw