National Faith Photography Winner Unveiled

21 November 2013

A pensive moment capturing a young Buddhist monk at Angkor Wat has been honoured as the winning photograph at the national Faith Through a Lens national amateur photography competition.  

Created by church insurer Congregational & General (CGI), Faith Through a Lens aims to highlight and support the positive role faith plays in everyday life through the medium of photography. The prestigious awards event was hosted in London last night, with acclaimed photographer Don McCullin was among the judges presenting prizes to the winner and two highly commended photographers.

The winning images were chosen by an esteemed judging panel comprising award-winning photographer Don McCullin, Revd. Dr. David Cornick of Churches Together in England; Paresh Solanki representing Inter Faith Network and Matthew Yelland, News Picture Manager,. Judging over 300 entries on a variety of criteria including visual impact, emotional connection and the wider context surrounding the image, ten finalists were chosen by the panel and invited to the awards ceremony for the unveiling of the winner.

The winner, ‘Contemplation’, by John Sykes, was praised by the judging panel for its beautiful painting-like contrast and striking composition. The two joint highly commended entries – ‘Passing on the Faith’ by Peter Anderson and ‘When Rifles Are No Longer Used, Bullets Can Become Your Words’ by Pati Robins – were also acclaimed for their energy and technical skill respectively.

Winner John Sykes received a personal prize package valued at £1,000, including a state-of-the-art Nikon camera; Nikon school vouchers; Photography Made Simple tuition; Albelli photo books; a Transcend SD memory card and a Serif 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 nominate a faith, charity or community group each to receive £1,000 of audio-visual or photography equipment of their choice. John Sykes was also honoured with a commissioned trophy created by Yorkshire sculptor, Craig Dyson.

Congregational & General Marketing Manager, Margaret Slater, said: “We’ve been thrilled by the quality of entries this year. Faith Through a Lens 2013 features some amazing images which demonstrate the diversity and inclusive nature of faith in the UK and beyond. The competition has grown year-on-year since launching in 2010, with the 2013 contest receiving our largest number of entries yet. John Sykes winning entry; ‘Contemplation’ is a stunning and powerful photograph capturing a moment of reflection – a remarkably personal image of a humble Buddhist monk.

 “As part of Congregational and General’s commitment to supporting community groups across the UK, we’re delighted to support the three winners’ charity beneficiaries Combat Stress, CURBS and All Saint’s Church Leighton Buzzard.”

The 2013 Faith Through a Lens winner and two highly commended entries:

  • ‘Contemplation’ by John Sykes and his charity All Saint’s Church, Leighton Buzzard (Winner)
  • ‘Passing on the Faith’ by Peter Anderson and his charity CURBS
  • ‘When Rifles Are No Longer Used, Bullets Can Become Your Words’ by Pati Robins and her charity Combat Stress