22nd September 2020

They’re back! After six long months, we are delighted to have resumed the Foundation degree course today. Thirteen students will be participating in our first online Study Workshop, set in ‘virtual’ Lincoln Cathedral, learning about the principles of historic building conservation.

With a mixture of online presentations, video-recorded lectures, virtual tours, demonstrations and live seminar discussions with tutors and visiting speakers, it is set to be a busy couple of days on Zoom!

Remote learning cannot hope to fully replace the wonder and atmosphere of Lincoln Cathedral, but we think we have created the next best thing for these challenging times, enabling our students to stay safe and study.

29th May 2020

CWF receives Grant from Historic England Covid-19 Emergency Fund

When the current cohort started their course in September 2019 social distancing was clearly not an issue! Since then the world has changed and we are all having to come to terms with a ‘new normal’ and what that might mean for our students and our course.

We are therefore delighted to have been awarded a grant by Historic England from their Covid-19 Emergency Fund. The grant will enable us to maintain momentum and start to develop alternative ways of delivering our highly practical course to meet new social distancing and travel guidelines.

Over the coming months we shall be creating webcasts, video demonstrations and other remote learning tools, so that we can restart the course as soon as soon as it is safe to do so.


21st May 2020

CWF contributes to Historic England debate

Historic England have dedicated the latest issue in their Heritage Online Debate series to the impact of Covid-19 on the heritage sector.  You can read CWF’s contribution to the debate here.


15th May 2020

Field Trip to St Margaret’s Westminster

  Foundation degree next steps

 It is mid-May and the country is still largely locked down. The students are in good spirits though, some even admitting to doing more reading in lockdown than they would otherwise have done and finding this useful! They are all looking forward to getting back to work and back to studying, when it is safe to do so, albeit recognising that there are likely to be significant changes to what we do and how we do it in the short – medium term.

 We are working on our strategy to resume the course from September, and confronting the serious challenge of how to deliver practical work-based training in a socially distanced way. It will certainly be a while before we are able to work together as we did in this picture! It is going to be a busy few months.

7th April 2020

© 2016 Antony Thompson reproduced with permission

Covid-19 impact

 The difficult but unavoidable decision has been taken to suspend all CWF Foundation degree activity until September 2020. Whilst it is hoped that everyone will be back at work before then, the pressure will be on the cathedrals’ Works Departments to catch up with delayed work and make the most of what is left of the critical summer season, making it very difficult for either students or staff to give priority to their Foundation degree work.

 As the situation unfolds over the coming weeks and months we shall be making plans for the resumption of the course from September.


25th March 2020

Salisbury Cathedral

  Covid-19 Interrupts Foundation degree

We are responding to the unfolding   Coronavirus crisis with a series of   measures to protect students and staff.   In response to the government’s call, in   mid-March, to reduce non-essential   travel the Study Workshop scheduled   for late March in Lincoln has been   postponed.

The introduction of  lockdown on 23rd March has meant that all students and most tutors have now been furloughed. This will require extensive changes to our programme of coursework and assessment, planning for which is underway.


25th January 2020

CWF Graduation 2012

Tenth Anniversary today!

Today is the tenth anniversary of the launch of the CWF Foundation degree in Personal and Professional Development (Stonemasonry). In those days the programme was delivered at weekends, and the first cohort gathered in Gloucester for their first Study Workshop on 25th January 2010.

Two years later the first four students, Matthew Cook (York), Jason Crozier (Worcester), Andrew Kirby (Salisbury) and David Lamb (York) graduated at a ceremony in Gloucester Cathedral.

Shown here, left to right, are: Neil Barnes, Frances Cambrook, Adrian Munns, David Lamb, the late Peter Lyddon, Jason Crozier, Dr Phil Gravestock, Andrew Kirby and John David.

Where are they now?  David Lamb and Matthew Cook run their own businesses. Jason Crozier works as a Project Manager at Clarkson Alliance and Andrew Kirby remains a valued member of the Works team at Salisbury Cathedral.


1st January 2020

Frances Cambrook

New Year changes at CWF

Frances Cambrook, Academic Programme Manager of the CWF for the last nine years, has moved to a new role as Executive Director, following the retirement of the CWF Administrator Adrian Munns OBE and Assistant Administrator Roy Bentham MBE.

Frances has a background in higher and further education consultancy and she has extensive experience of working with employers and education providers supporting the development of innovative work-based education and training solutions. She designed the CWF’s original Foundation degree in Personal & Professional Development for stonemasons in 2008, and has been supporting the team delivering the programme, now revalidated as an Fd in Applied Historic Building Conservation and Repair, since 2011.

Frances said, “ The CWF Fd programme is now well established and recognised in the sector, but the cathedrals face strong challenges with the rising costs of conservation, maintenance and repair, recruitment and craft skill shortages. I am delighted to be working with the CWF on this next phase of their development”.


18 September 2019

The new cohort of students

Welcome to our new cohort!

Thirteen new students attended the graduation for the outgoing cohort at Gloucester Cathedral on 17th September – and then started their own course the next day!

This is our largest and most diverse cohort to date. We have two cathedral-based students joining our new craft pathway for plumbers, and two students on the carpenter/joiner pathway, with the remaining nine students pursuing the stonemasonry pathway.

We are especially pleased that we have been able to offer places to two students from commercial contractors for the first time this year. We welcome a stonemason from Chichester Stoneworks and a carpenter from Ellis and Co. Ltd.

We wish them all luck!


17 September 2019

In the beautiful setting of Gloucester Cathedral Quire, to the accompaniment of Gloucester’s world renowned Cathedral Choir, eleven new graduates received their Foundation degrees at a ceremony on 17th September. Family and friends, together with CWF tutors, watched proudly as the Awards were conferred by Stephen Marston, Vice Chancellor of the University of Gloucestershire, during Choral Evensong.

The graduates, from seven of the CWF’s nine cathedrals, bring the total number of graduates of our specialist Foundation degree programme to thirty nine.

We congratulate them all and wish them well on the next stage of their careers!

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All September News Images  © Andrew Higgins reproduced with kind permission. Please contact Thousand Word Media if you would like copies of these images.


August 2019

A senior volunteering opportunity

We are seeking to appoint a new volunteer Executive Director of the Cathedrals’ Workshop Fellowship. Supported by a dedicated team of cathedral and academic professionals, the CWF Executive Director provides the leadership and coordination necessary to achieve ongoing success for the Fellowship. Working primarily from home, this is an unpaid role requiring a flexible commitment of approximately two days a week throughout the year. Contact us for further details and information about how to apply.

Closing date: 13th September 2019.




July 2019


We are delighted that all eleven of our students have passed the final year of their Foundation degree. They are looking forward to their graduation ceremony in September.



April 2019

The news of the tragic fire at the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris has saddened us all and highlighted the significance of our own historic ecclesiastical buildings and the ever present need to retain the craft skills to conserve, repair and maintain them. 

The CWF sends its sincere support to colleagues in Paris, and to the people of France. We are sure that our partner cathedrals will be ready to offer support and assistance in the months ahead.


January 2019

Shedding light on stonemasonry and wood carving

Now recruiting

Recruitment is underway for the next intake of students on our Foundation degree in September 2019. The course is now open to stonemasons, carpenter/joiners and electricians employed in the heritage building sector, as well as to crafts people directly employed in cathedrals. Contact us for more information and to receive an application form.


October 2018

Field trip to Westminster Abbey October 2018

Westminster Abbey

Our field trip to St Margaret’s Church, Westminster and Westminster Abbey was described by one student as ‘the best part of the course so far’.  We are very grateful to staff The Morton Partnership and Daedalus Conservation for giving us so much of their time and enabling the students to see the conservation and restoration work  behind the scenes, including the recently completed Queens Diamond Jubilee Galleries in the Triforium.


March 2018

Poppies on tour

Our field trip to Hereford Cathedral coincided with the installation of the Poppies: Weeping Window cascade. Touring as part of the 1st Word War Centenary commemorations, the Poppies will be at Hereford until 29th April.




February 2018

What’s the problem?

Students gathered in Winchester for their Principles of Conservation assessment. The task, set by module leader Heather Newton, Head of Conservation at Canterbury Cathedral, was to diagnose the possible causes of the decay to a pier in the North West Transept and make recommendations as to how to approach conservation and repair.

Winchester Mason Pourang Tajally (CWF graduate 2013) provided the background for the exercise.

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November 2017

Class of 2017

Students celebrate success 

Nine of our students have received their Foundation degrees at a graduation ceremony in Gloucester Cathedral.   Stephen Buchan and Philip Green from Canterbury, Steven Mann from Durham, Owen Whitfield from Exeter, James Bayliss and Paul Synan from Gloucester, Laura Jeary from Lincoln, Christian Sullivan from Salisbury and Emily Draper from Worcester celebrated their success with family and friends.

The CWF now has twenty seven graduates from the four cohorts that have completed the programme since 2010.



October 2017

The Duke of Gloucester Craft Awards
 were established by The Worshipful Company of Masons in 2007 in honour of HRH The Duke of Gloucester.

The awards are made jointly with The Stone Federation of Great Britain and the masons awards are given every two years  in recognition of excellence in stonemasonry.

We are delighted that one CWF graduate, two graduands and two current students were amongst those receiving awards at a ceremony in London on 4th October. The top award went (jointly) to Victoria Darley (York Minster, CWF graduate 2015) and Tom Francis from Chichester Stoneworks. James Bayliss (Gloucester, CWF graduand 2017) and Luke Kingston (Salisbury, CWF student 2017) were ‘Highly Commended’ and  Matt Hoskins (Exeter, CWF student 2017) and Christian Sullivan (Salisbury, CWF graduand 2017) each received a ‘Commendation’. Well done to all!



September 2017

CWF welcomes new cohort

Ten stonemasons and one carpenter/joiner from seven of our cathedrals joined the first cohort of the new CWF Foundation degree programme on 26th September 2017. The first teaching Workshop took place over three days in Canterbury.




August 2017

New Programme Validated

The CWF Foundation degree in Applied Historic Building Conservation and Repair has  successfully completed validation with the University of Gloucestershire.




June 2017

Assessment completed

The final cohort of the CWF’s first Foundation degree  in Professional Development completed their final assessments this month.  Eight stonemasons and one cathedral electrician can now look forward to graduating in November.