About the Sandford St Martin Awards
The Sandford St Martin Awards are the UK’s most prestigious broadcast awards for radio, TV and online programmes that reflect religious, spiritual or ethical themes. They are the only awards that welcome entries about any and all faiths.
The Awards are held at Lambeth Palace, where prize money totaling approximately £4,000 is awarded to the winners.
The Trust welcomes submissions from news, current affairs, factual, the arts, music, drama and comedy – as well as from teams producing specifically ‘religious’ commissions.
To be eligible for the Awards, entries must be broadcast content must have been made by a UK or ROI based broadcasting organisation or production house and have been first publicly broadcast or published in the previous calendar year to a UK audience.
If you need inspiration, then you can review our most recent shortlists or the archive of our winners, or, you can listen to any of our keynote addresses by Neil MacGregor, Joan Bakewell, Lyse Doucet or the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.
2020 Award Winners and shortlisted programmes
The Sandford St Martin Awards 2020 were unlike any in the Trust’s history. In part because a global pandemic meant we had to re-imagine how we would administer and present our awards but also because during lockdown previously polite requests from audiences for high quality broadcasting and journalism that informs, educates and supports community – including content that engages with religion, ethics, the choices we make and how we choose to live – became a roar. For an organisation like ours these have been heady and busy times.
Proof that this interest is not a marginal one was probably best epitomised by this year’s Trustees’ Award winner, Stormzy: a man who has never been shy about talking about the role his faith plays in his life and whose grace, generosity and sense of community-responsibility make him a role model to so many. At the time of writing, the short video we tweeted of his acceptance speech has been watched more than 52,000 times.
This was the message from our Chair, the Rt Revd Dr Helen-Ann Hartley, Bishop of Ripon:
“We aren’t gathering in Lambeth Palace this year; instead you will be joining us from the comfort of your own screen wherever you happen to be. COVID-19 has affected each of us in different ways, in some cases very personally, pushing us to reflect on the big questions relating to live. And, somewhat ironically, while so much has been lost or changed, the disruption has also enabled a flourishing of creativity – and it must be said a new appreciation for the possibilities offered by online platforms as spaces to share and interact during the lockdown pesos. Which to my mind, makes this year’s awards seem particularly relevant: after all, exploring the big questions and celebrating creativity in how broadcasters consider religion, belief or ethics are at the heart of what the Sandford St Martin Awards do, and his year is no exception. So thank you – I’m hugely grateful to this year’s judges and shortlisters but even more so to everyone who entered: the content-makers whose work has made this year’s Awards extraordinary. Hopefully we’ll see you at Lambeth Palace next year!”
In the end, despite it all, it was an extraordinary Awards ceremony with some extraordinary winners for extraordinary times. And one that you can experience over and over again.