Joanna Lumley announces Oundle School teacher as winner of photography prize with church spire masterpiece

Joanna Lumley with the winning photo.
Joanna Lumley with the winning photo.

A picture of St Peter’s Church in Oundle taken by an Oundle School teacher has won a national photography competition.

The photograph was taken by French teacher and deputy house master William Gunson as part of the National Trust’s ‘Save Our Spires’ campaign.

The winning entry was revealed by Joanna Lumley at an event held for the Friends of the National Churches Trust at St Mary le Strand church in London on Tuesday, December 1.

Mr Gunson said: ““I am delighted to have won the National Churches Trusts’ ‘Save our Spires’ photography competition. 

“St Peter’s Church stands in the middle of the ancient market town of Oundle and has the highest spire in Northamptonshire, standing proud at 210 feet above the town and its public school.

“As well as being a church with a long and distinguished history, it is also home to a thriving local community, features traditional and modern worship, hosts Remembrance Day services, Oundle School lunchtime concerts and other community activities.

“The spire is also a landmark for our pupils at Oundle School, who have passed it every day on their way to lessons for almost 500 years.

“The slender spire towers over the central cloisters of the School, where I teach, and can be seen for miles around as a point for navigation when the pupils are out and about around the countryside on expeditions and CCF exercises.”

The photography competition is part of the charity’s campaign to highlight the plight of the UK’s church spires.

Mr Gunson won a £125 cash prize for his efforts, with the church also receiving £125.

Claire Walker, chief executive of the National Churches Trust, said: “We’re delighted to have had so many excellent entries for our ‘Save our Spires’ photography competition and would like to thank everyone who took part. 

“The winning entries show just why church spires are key features of our landscape and remind us why it is so important that they are kept in good repair so that they can be enjoyed by our children and children’s children.”