Award of the NRW State Order

On February 21, 2024, Minister President Hendrik Wüst awarded the Order of Merit of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia to 16 committed citizens.

On Wednesday, February 21, 2024, Minister President Hendrik Wüst awarded the Order of Merit of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia to 16 committed citizens. With the Order of Merit, the state government traditionally honors particularly committed citizens for their outstanding commitment to the common good and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The award ceremony took place in the State Chancellery in Düsseldorf.

Minister President Hendrik Wüst: "The Order of Merit of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia is a special and rare award. Since its foundation in 1986, it has only been awarded to 1,744 people. Today we are expanding this circle by 16 people: 16 people who devote a great deal of time to making things better for others. 16 people who have rendered outstanding services to our country in a variety of ways - all with outstanding commitment, some of whom have been doing so for decades. They are all role models and their commitment is a constant sign of hope. For this, they deserve our heartfelt thanks."

Jürgen Prigl from Soest

The church of St. Maria zur Wiese, better known to many as the "Wiesenkirche", is one of the most impressive architectural monuments in North Rhine-Westphalia. The fact that it enjoys an outstanding reputation today is primarily thanks to its former master builder Jürgen Prigl. For almost three decades, he devoted all his expertise and time to the restoration of the cathedral. To this day, the Swabian-born architect is committed to his life's work on site in a variety of ways.

The Wiesenkirche church in Soest is an imposing, over 700-year-old Gothic monument in our country. Home to a strong Protestant community. And a proud symbol for all those who live in the Hanseatic city of Soest. The fact that the Wiesenkirche shines in new splendor today is primarily thanks to Jürgen Prigl. He worked there for around three decades as master builder of the cathedral. And with great success and visible results.
In October 2027, the Wiesenkirche will be visible without scaffolding for the first time in 40 years. The path to this is full of hurdles. But the new cathedral master builder is taking on the challenge: Little by little, the southern side choir is being secured. Seven new bells in a new belfry complete the carillon. The glass art in the Wiesenkirche is completed with 17 new windows.
In addition to his job, Jürgen Prigl also invests a lot of free time in his Wiesenkirche. He designs parts of the interior and collects donations.
He exchanges ideas with other experts in the "Soester Runde", researches, publishes and passes on his knowledge to younger people. The EACD, the "European Association of Building Crafts and Design", emerged from the group in 2003. Jürgen Prigl's commitment is as impressive as it is comprehensive:

In 2006, after seven years of work in his spare time, a "children's field church" was built. A field chapel made from the remains of the Wiesenkirche.
Jürgen Prigl leads this integrative project, which involves hundreds of volunteers. But for Jürgen Prigl it is about even more:
He wants to preserve the intangible cultural heritage of the Bauhüttenwesen.
And in 2020, the "Westfälische Bauhütte an St. Maria zur Wiese" will be officially recognized by UNESCO as "Intangible Cultural Heritage".
Another award is being added to this one today.
Dear Jürgen Prigl, I am awarding you the State Order of Merit today for your services to building culture.

Photo credits: State of NRW - Ralph Sondermann

Award of the Order of Merit to Jürgen Prigl

The delegation for the awarding of the NRW Order of Merit on Johannes-Rau-Platz in front of the State Chancellery.

Priska Maria Prigl; Jürgen Prigl; Johannes Rau (in bronze); Dr. Birgitta Ringbeck, current chairwoman of the Westf. Dombauverein; Heinz-Helmut Piel, former chairman.

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About the State Order of Merit

The Order of Merit of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia is one of the highest honors and was founded in 1986 on the occasion of the 40th birthday of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia by the then Prime Minister Johannes Rau. It is awarded to particularly committed individuals in recognition of their extraordinary services to the community.