2015 Faith Through a Lens Photography Competition, Winners Announced

13 November 2015

The winner and two highly commended photographs have been unveiled at an exclusive awards ceremony hosted in London today. The three outstanding images depict a diverse representation of different faiths across generations.

Jim Grover’s photograph ‘Floris’ was named as overall winner. This powerful image was praised by the judges as an exceptional portrayal of faith in action here in the UK, capturing the act of giving and receiving communion in a sensitive and compelling manner.

Hundreds of entries were received and ten images carefully shortlisted by the esteemed judging panel, led by world renowned photojournalist Don McCullin. The ten shortlisted photographs competed against submissions from amateur photographers across the UK to be named as the Faith Through a Lens winner at tonight’s event.  

Don McCullin was joined on the judging panel by Aaqil Ahmed, Head of Religion and Ethics at the BBC;  Rev Dr David Cornick from Churches Together in England; Paresh Solanki who represented Inter Faith Network; award winning photojournalist Hazel Thompson and Stuart Young from the Congregational & General Charitable Trust. The judges considered a variety of criteria including visual impact, composition, emotional connection as well as technical aspects of the image;

The two joint highly commended entries – ‘Cleansing the Spirit: Amritsar Golden Temple’ by Pramal Lad and ‘Learning the Quran’ by David Smith were both celebrated for their composition and fantastic use of light.

Winner Jim Grover received a personal prize package valued at £1,000, including state-of-the-art camera equipment; Rachel Bridgen Photography tuition; Huggler photo books; as well as Serif Photoplus software package. Each highly commended winner also received a personal prize package valued at £850. In addition to their personal prize packages, the three winners each nominated a faith, charity or community group to receive £1,000 of audio-visual or photography equipment of their choice.

Stuart Young representing the Congregational & General Charitable Trust, said: “Faith in the UK today is diverse and inclusive. The entries we received demonstrated how photography really is an accessible and effective way of encouraging people from all backgrounds and beliefs to engage with the subject. We’ve been thrilled again by the quality of entries this year and we’re very pleased to support the three winners’ charities, we hope they will benefit from their prize donation.”

Faith Through a Lens, is an annual photography competition which aims to profile the positive effects of faith within a diverse range of communities.  This not for profit competition, supported by Congregational & General Charitable Trust, encourages amateur photographers from across the UK to capture the meaning of faith.  

The 2015 Faith Through a Lens winner and highly commended are:

‘Floris’ by Jim Grover and his charity St James Church, Clapham

‘Cleansing the Spirit: Amritsar Golden Temple’ by Pramal Lad and his charity Shree Ram Mandir Walsall

‘Learning the Quran’ by David Smith and his charity is Sight for Surrey