Westminster Abbey joins Cathedrals Workshop Fellowship

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey has become the 11th Cathedral in the Cathedrals' Workshop Fellowship.

Westminster Abbey is the 11th cathedral to become part of the Cathedrals' Workshop Fellowship (CWF), the organisation formed in 2006 to maintain the highest level of conservation skills at the cathedrals.

Westminster Abbey joins Canterbury, Chester, Durham, Exeter, Gloucester, Lincoln, Salisbury, Winchester, Worcester, and York.

CWF is a thriving partnership delivering high-quality, accredited training and education to the next generation of craftspeople to ensure they have the skills needed to care for the country's historic buildings for years to come.

A key part of the CWF programme is a Foundation degree in Applied Historic Building Conservation & Repair, which, to date, has produced more than 50 graduates.

Now, Westminster Abbey has joined this collaboration.

Built between the 13th and 16th centuries, it is an architectural masterpiece, famous for its Gothic façade and spectacular fan vaulting.

As is the case with all the CWF cathedrals, Westminster Abbey has its own onsite Works Department that cares for the building on a day-to-day basis. It is planned that a member of this team will join the next cohort on the CWF Foundation degree course.

The course is funded by the Hamish Ogston Foundation charity and with it students gain extensive knowledge of the practical care and conservation of historic buildings under the guidance of leading industry experts.

Paul Baumann CBE, Chapter Clerk and Receiver General of Westminster Abbey, says of joining CWF: "At the Abbey we have long been committed to sustaining the highest standards of craftsmanship in maintaining and developing our unique buildings. By joining the Cathedrals’ Workshop Fellowship we are linking to a number of the country’s most significant Cathedrals, which share our belief in the importance of developing and maintaining these essential skills.

"We look forward to a fruitful partnership and to playing our part in nurturing crafts which are part of our shared inheritance and key to our future.’

Frances Cambrook, Executive Director of the CWF, commented: "We have had an informal association with Westminster Abbey for many years and we are delighted that they have now joined us formally to become our 11th member.

"We look forward to welcoming their first student to our Foundation degree course next year and supporting him or her to develop their craft skills and conservation expertise for the benefit of this magnificent abbey church."