A RENOVATED church has won a top building award for its extensive internal alterations.

St John’s Church, Staplegrove, closed for six months last year while pews were removed, a stone floor laid and new heating and lighting installed.

Now the church has been given a William Stansell award by the Somerset Building Preservation Trust for the high standard of design and craftsmanship.

Judges said the result of the well-considered re-ordering was "exemplary, calm, restrained and uncluttered".

The awards, which are presented every two years, are named after the late William Stansell, founder and chairman of the Stansell Group whose great love was the conservation and repair of historic buildings.

They were presented at a ceremony last week by his grandson, James Holyday, director of Summerfield Developments (SW) Ltd.

Among the projects to receive commendations was Church House, Crowcombe, owned by Peter Menneer, for the high quality, well-executed external conservation of the stonework, which judges said had transformed the building and enhanced the sensitive centre of the village.