Queen honours architectural historian for services to Catholic heritage and patrimony

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An architectural historian who has worked tirelessly to protect and promote historic Catholic churches and heritage has been honoured by Her Majesty The Queen in her Birthday Honours list.

Sophie Andreae, who has served the Bishops’ Conference as Vice Chair of its Patrimony Committee since 2002, has been made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to heritage.

“I am delighted and extremely honoured to have been given this award and will continue to work to protect and promote the Catholic heritage of England and Wales,” she said on hearing the news.

“This important and unique architectural and artistic heritage is still less well-known than it deserves to be.”

Archbishop George Stack, Chair of the Patrimony Committee, offered his congratulations on behalf of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales:

“This award rightly recognises the invaluable work Sophie Andreae has undertaken over many years as Vice Chair of the Patrimony committee of the Bishops’ Conference.

“She has brought dedication, commitment and skill to this role and has made an outstanding contribution in preserving and enhancing the work of maintaining the significant historic heritage of Catholic churches and other buildings in this country.

“The Catholic community and so many others owe a great debt of gratitude to Sophie Andreae CBE.”


Sophie Andreae pictured, left, with James Rubin of Enviro Waste and Archbishop George Stack at an event at Westminster Cathedral to mark the return a relic of Pope Clement I to the Church in 2018.

Mini Biography

Sophie Andreae CBE, DSG, FSA, IHBC

Sophie Andreae is an architectural historian who has spent her career helping to protect historic buildings and promote them to a wider public audience.

She has been the Vice Chair of the Patrimony Committee of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales since 2002. This Committee, currently chaired by Archbishop George Stack of Cardiff, provides advice and guidance on all aspects of Catholic heritage to dioceses, priests and parishioners as well as acting at the link between the Catholic Church in England and Wales and the secular authorities concerned with heritage protection. Sophie is currently co-chair of Historic England’s Places of Worship Forum.

The early part of her career was spent working for SAVE Britain’s Heritage before she took up the role of Director of English Heritage’s London Region. She was appointed by the government to serve as a Commissioner of the Royal Fine Art Commission and its successor body, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment. She has also served on a number of heritage bodies, including as a Trustee of Historic Royal Palaces, an elected Council Member of the National Trust and as member of the Fabric Advisory Committee for St Paul’s Cathedral.

Amongst other projects promoting Catholic heritage, she initiated and project managed the publication of A Glimpse of Heaven: Catholic Churches of England and Wales. This book, authored by Christopher Martin, was the first publication on Catholic churches in England and Wales to be published in full colour.