Cathedrals' Workshop Fellowship  

Cathedrals are one of the few groups of buildings which still use the traditional methods of stonemasonry and carving. Of the forty two Anglican Cathedrals only nine or ten have their own in house masonry workshops, these include York, Gloucester, Lincoln, Salisbury, Canterbury, Worcester, Winchester and Durham.

In 2009 the Fellowship was set up by most of the Cathedrals with in house masonry workshops. Their aims are to have a common programme of training for Apprentice Masons and a system of being able to move Apprentices from one Cathedral workshop to another for short periods, to broaden their experience.

The Fellowship had Patronage extended to it by HRH The Prince of Wales in 2011, and it is supported financially by the Worshipful Company of Masons and sponsored by Ecclesiastical.

The aim was to set up a four year syllabus for Apprenticeships which was common to all workshops, which would result in a qualification at the end. The programme was set up with the help of NEXUS and in partnership with the University of Gloucester.

The first Pilot Course Students (4 No.) all were awarded Foundation Degrees (Arts) in Personal and Professional Development (Stone Masonry) in 2012 when the graduation ceremony was held.

A further course to Level 4 has been added to the training programme and students have successfully completed this. In 2012 a Level 5 course was started which should be completed in 2013.

The Fellowship is working with the Cathedral Administrator to have a Memorandum of Understanding so that closer ties are forged between the Cathedral and the Fellowship.

The Worshipful Company of Masons has encouraged and supported this enterprise and has committed funds towards it as it sees this as a major source of new masons for the future.