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Image of teenagers lands top prize in national faith-based photo awards

A joyous image, capturing a faith exercise by Christian and Muslim teenagers scooped the winner’s prize at the national Faith Through a Lens photography awards ...

A joyous image, capturing a faith exercise by Christian and Muslim teenagers scooped the winner’s prize at the national Faith Through a Lens photography awards.

Merryn Fawssett’s photograph Circle of Faith was named as the overall winner earlier today. 

Ten shortlisted images competed against entries from budding photographers across the UK to be named as winner at the prestigious awards event hosted in London. Acclaimed photojournalist Don McCullin led the judges in presenting prizes to the winner and two highly commended photographers.

Faith Through a Lens aims to highlight and support the positive role faith plays in everyday life through the medium of photography. The competition, now in its fifth year, is funded through the Congregational & General Charitable Trust and supported by Churches Together in England and the Inter Faith Network. 

The winning images were selected by an esteemed judging panel comprising award-winning photographer Don McCullin, photo journalist Hazel Thompson, Rev Dr David Cornick and Paresh Solanki representing the Inter Faith Network.  

The judges considered a variety of criteria including visual impact, composition, emotional connection as well as technical aspects of the image; 10 finalists were chosen by the panel and invited to the awards ceremony for the unveiling of the winner.

The winner, Circle of Faith, by Merryn Fawssett, was praised by the judging panel as an inspiring photograph portraying faith in action, giving a genuine feeling of love, joy and excitement.

The two joint highly commended entries – Morning Collection by Christine Willis was acclaimed for its beautiful colours and framing and Bible on the Beach by Sian Davies for its composition.  The 2014 finalists and winning images can be viewed at www.faiththroughalens.co.uk.

Winner Merryn Fawssett received a personal prize package valued at £1,000, including state-of-the-art camera equipment; Rachel Bridgen Photography tuition; Albelli and Huggler photo books; as well as 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 each nominate a faith, charity or community group to receive £1,000 of audio-visual or photography equipment of their choice.

Stuart Young from 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 by the quality of entries this year and we’re very pleased to honour Merryn Fawssett as our winner.

“We are also delighted to support the three winners’ charity beneficiaries, The Feast, Integrate Bristol, and Church of the Epiphany Droylsden. Faith Through a Lens is about bringing people together and giving back to the community and we hope they will benefit from their prize donation.”

The 2014 Faith Through a Lens winner and highly commended are:

Circle of Faith by Merryn Fawssett and her charity The Feast http://www.thefeast.org.uk/

Morning Collection by Christine Willis and her charity Church of the Epiphany Droylsden

Bible on the Beach by Sian Davies and her charity Integrate Bristol http://integratebristol.org.uk/

For more information on the Faith Through a Lens photography competition visit www.faiththroughalens.co.uk

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