The aim of the CWF is to deliver high quality, accredited, craft skills education and training to support the conservation, maintenance and repair of cathedrals and historic buildings in the twenty first century.

Our initial focus was on the development and delivery of our Foundation degree, now a well established and sought-after qualification amongst aspiring cathedral craftspeople. The programme has thirty-eight graduates, including stonemasons, carpenter/joiners electricians and bricklayers. A further thirteen students enrolled on the two-year course in September 2019, including our first two students from the commercial sector.

We are now developing new initiatives to enhance the support for early career craft apprentices and also extending our reach into the wider heritage sector through new partnerships and collaboration.

Setting Out Exercise

We have developed a seamless training pathway, from apprentice through to management, in a range of craft disciplines.

Together these help address the specialist skills and training needs of cathedral and commercial heritage/conservation employers.

Cathedrals place a high value on giving new craft apprentices’ the right support and guidance to help them find their place in their own team and in the wider heritage workforce.

The CWF is supporting cathedrals by organising exchanges and placements which enhance apprentices’ training and help them to develop the network which will support and engage them throughout their careers.

If you aspire to work as a cathedral craftsperson and want to find out more about apprenticeships and careers in the CWF cathedrals contact your nearest CWF cathedral

Carving Workshop

We deliver an in-house work-based Foundation degree in Applied Historic Building Conservation and Repair.

Craftspeople who have achieved their NVQ3 qualifications and are employed in a relevant craft role by a cathedral, heritage organisation or commercial heritage contractor can apply to join our Foundation degree in Applied Historic Building Conservation and Repair. The course is validated by the University of Gloucestershire and is delivered by our own team of Master crafts people in our cathedrals.

There are currently craft pathways available for stonemasons, carpenter/joiners, plumbers and electricians.

Find out more about the course content

Exeter Cathedral Bosses

We work collaboratively with national and international heritage organisations to share knowledge and best practice in craft skills education and development.

In 2020, the CWF entered a new phase of development. We shall shortly (delayed due to the current Covid-19 crisis) publish a new Strategic Plan.

The overarching objective of the new plan is to focus on activities which will extend the CWF’s reach both academically and geographically in order to increase the flow of students into craft/conservation occupations and secure the organisation’s long-term sustainability.

We shall be developing CPD short courses to complement our Foundation degree, reflecting the needs of employers in the wider heritage sector.

We are also developing new partnerships with key heritage organisations at home and abroad.

Check our News page for details of our latest activities.