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 MacGregorJoan Bakewell, Lyse Doucet or the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. 

Sandford St Martin Trust awards 2019, Lambeth Palace, London 13th June 2019, Natasha Hirst Photography

2019 Award Winners and shortlisted programmes

Last June 13th, while across the river at Westminster, pro and anti Brexit protestors lobbied Parliament and the Conservative party noisily set about selecting a new leader, at Lambeth Palace more than 200 representatives of the UK’s leading broadcasting industry met to celebrate the winners of the 2019 Awards.  As always, it was a joyful occasion but the events had a particular resonance given the conflict and division afflicting the country.   At times such as these, the importance of good journalism and broadcasting becomes ever more important.

Broadcast technology has evolved hugely since the Awards were first established in 1978, as have the skills of content-makers and the sophistication of audiences.  But what changed is the complex role belief plays in people’s personal experience but also in the political and economic realities of their time.

If there was inadvertently a theme uniting the content recognised by the awards in 2019, it had to do with community and identity – and was perhaps best embodied by our 2019 Trustees’ Award Winner, Bishop Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church and you can read more about that and watch his address to the gathering here.  But other highlights included welcoming 10 year old Jonathan Bryan to the stage to accept the Children’s Broadcasting Award and the Irish comedian Patrick Kielty’s words about what he hopes audiences would take away from his programme ‘My Dad, the Peace Deal and Me’.  Referring to the murder of his father during the Troubles, Kielty said “…I felt that because of what my family had been through can we just move quicker to the point where we want to go and life’s not like that.  And when the pieces are broken and people are broken we have to give them a bit more time and we have to give them support and we have to give them leadership… The majority of people in Northern Ireland want peace.  And the majority of people in Northern Ireland don’t want to take back control of our borders because we happily gave that up twenty years ago to try to build a better society.”  No matter what side of the Brexit debate you come down on, we all value community and peace.

»  Read more about the winners or about all the entries shortlisted for a 2019 Award.

Awards archive

After more than three decades in the business, the Sandford St Martin Trust holds a unique record of recognising and celebrating the best broadcasting about religion, ethics and morality from across the UK.   Our winners include some of the best programmes broadcast in the UK and come from all different genres – as well as “traditional” religious programming.  You can read more about them in our Awards Archive.

» Past awards