Architectural Historian Receives Papal Award

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(Photo of Sophie Andreae)
Architectural historian Sophie Andreae has been made a Dame of St Gregory by Pope Benedict XVI, in recognition of her voluntary work over many years as Vice Chair of the Patrimony Committee of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. The award was made at the Historic Churches Committees’ Conference, hosted at Brentwood Cathedral by the Chair of the Patrimony Committee, the Rt Rev Thomas McMahon, Bishop of Brentwood.

“Sophie has made a huge contribution to the conservation of historic buildings over the years,” said Bishop McMahon. “She has worked on many national bodies concerned with patrimony and has served the Church on the Patrimony Committee for at least a decade, all in a voluntary capacity.”

Sophie Andreae has worked in the field for 30 years and is a long standing member of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation. She was Secretary and then Chair of SAVE Britain’s Heritage before serving as Head of English Heritage London from 1988-1993. She was a Commissioner of the Royal Fine Art Commission from 1996-1999 and served also on its successor body, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), from its inception in 1999 until 2004. During that time she set up CABE’s built environment education programme.

Among current appointments she is a Council Member of the National Trust, a Trustee of the Georgian Group and serves on English Heritage’s Places of Worship Forum. She was appointed a Trustee of Historic Royal Palaces in January 2009.

The Patrimony Committee of the Bishops’ Conference is concerned with the care and conservation of the Church’s cultural inheritance in terms of architecture, art and artefacts. The Committee oversees the work of the diocesan Historic Churches Committees, advises dioceses on the care, conservation and repair of church buildings and artefacts, and acts as the interface between Government and government agencies and the Church in relation to planning and heritage matters. The Patrimony Committee also promotes cooperation with other bodies in the same field.


Mary Huntington
Press Officer
Diocese of Brentwood
Tel: 01245 227518