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Supporting the next generation of cathedral stonemasons

Nine students from the Cathedrals’ Workshop Fellowship (CWF) programme, which is sponsored by Ecclesiastical, were recently awarded their Foundation degree (Arts) in Personal and Professional Development (Stonemasonry) by the University of Gloucestershire. 

The students and their cathedrals are:

  • Paul Synan (Gloucester Cathedral)
  • James Bayliss (Gloucester Cathedral)
  • Emily Draper (Worcester Cathedral)
  • Philip Green (Canterbury Cathedral)
  • Laura Jeary (Lincoln Cathedral) 
  • Steven Mann (Durham Cathedral) 
  • Christian Sullivan (Salisbury Cathedral)
  • Owen Whitfield (Exeter Cathedral)

The final graduate was Steve Buchan – lead electrician at Canterbury Cathedral, who joined the CWF as part of a pilot aimed at expanding the programme to more trades.

The Cathedrals’ Workshop Fellowship

Founded in 2006, the fellowship was created as a way of offering apprentice stonemasons a career path and a route to higher qualifications. 

Graduate Paul Synan said: “It has been fantastic networking and sharing knowledge with masons and other professionals from nine different cathedrals. It’s a small team at Gloucester and that has enabled me to have ownership of some really exciting projects, including the restoration of the Lady Chapel; from the technical drawing, geometry and measuring to putting into practice conservation techniques and carving skills.  I always want to work here, and I feel privileged that my dream has come true.” 

Britain’s religious buildings are among the finest in the world, yet such architectural treasures demand constant care and attention. The Cathedrals’ Workshop Fellowship has an important role to play in protecting the fabric of these irreplaceable buildings through developing the next generation of talented craftspeople and preserving these irreplaceable skills.

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or email churches@ecclesiastical.com

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