A message from our Chair, the Rt Rev Jan McFarlane, Bishop of Repton

We believe good broadcasting about religion matters more than ever before so we’re building a community of Friends who will support us as we continue to encourage excellence in religious broadcasting.  If you don’t understand religion, you can’t understand the world we live in.  ”

“Whether you’re a believer or not, religion has an enormous influence on the society we live in: think of our major institutions, social welfare, schools and, above all, values.  Religion not only shapes the communities around us but also informs the choices people make and how they understand their place in the world.  As an enormous force for good or ill, it’s far too important to ignore.

“Since 1978 the Sandford St Martin Trust has been committed to making the case for excellent broadcasting that explores religion, ethics and spiritual issues.  Over forty years our annual Awards have championed this vital genre, programmes and programme makers and we’ve lobbied hard for our national broadcasters to maintain the quantity and quality of what’s available to audiences.

Now we need your support.

“Broadcast technology is rapidly changing; to stay effective we need to change too.  Recent research by Ofcom identified a dramatic decline both in the hours and the investment that public service broadcasters are dedicating to religious content. Take this, together with the rapid growth of online programme-providers, and the rise of “fake news” at a time when religion has had such a powerful influence on world events – and it’s clear that the need for religious literacy and good religious broadcasting has never been greater.

“As a Friend or Partner you can help shape and support our work in the future. Your gift will help to secure the future of the Sandford St Martin Trust and will support our work to promote and protect excellent religious and ethical broadcasting in the UK.”

Become a Friend

Your regular gift of £5 a month (or £3 a month with concessions), with Gift Aid and match funding will more than double.  So £5 a month becomes worth £12.50 a month or £150 in a year.  

Your benefits as a Friend

  • Priority booking, invitations and discounts to professional networking events including our new Sandford St Martin Salons: topical talks and discussions led by key people in the industry
  • A quarterly email newsletter
Become a 40th Anniversary Partner

Celebrating the Trust’s 40th anniversary and providing a voice for religious and ethical broadcasters and programme-makers for the future, our Partners gift of £70 month after Gift Aid and match funding grows to be worth more than £2,000 per year.  

Your benefits as a 40th Anniversary Partner

All the benefits of a being a Friend plus

  • Invitations to our annual broadcasting Awards Ceremony at Lambeth Palace
  • Exclusive invitations to special Partners’ events such as a personalised tour of Lambeth Palace
  • Get closer to the Trust through the opportunity to advise and input into our strategic plan through our regular ‘Partner Forums’
  • Previews and early access to our publications and contributions to public consultations

For more information or to discuss becoming a Friend or a Partner contact us either by emailing  info@sandfordawards.org.uk or calling 020 7898 1796.

Simon Schama

My generation grew up thinking that religion was completely marginal to British life, which, as for the rest of the world, has been proved more and more wrong.

Simon SchamaHistorian and broadcaster
The Rt Rev Justin Welby

If diversity is to mean anything, it must mean more than differences in ethnicity or personal tastes. True diversity also means paying attention to religion.

The Rt Rev Justin WelbyArchbishop of Canterbury
Lyse Doucet

Sadly distortions of religious beliefs and texts are used as political weapons in many conflicts as well as clashes over traditional beliefs and practices. That requires us to now more about the tenets of major religions and systems of belief, to be able to assess and analyse different interpretations.

Lyse DoucetChief International Correspondent, BBC News
Frank Cottrell Boyce

When young people engage with questions like immigration, sexuality and their own mortality and morality, they’re not puzzling over intellectual questions, they’re building their own identities – and in doing so they’re building the future identity of this nation.

Frank Cottrell BoyceWriter and broadcaster
Jimmy McGovern

Religion sounds boring to some and contentious to others. But what it is to me is a wonderful source of stories about what it is to be human and a huge part of many people’s lives.

Jimmy McGovernScreenwriter and producer
Joan Bakewell

These awards have a tremendous reputation. I think they matter all the more in today’s climate, because we need space where serious ideas can be reflected and discussed.

Joan BakewellWriter and broadcaster