Cathedrals’ Workshop Fellowship craftspeople celebrate extraordinary success at the 2023 graduation event at Canterbury Cathedral.
In a momentous occasion, Canterbury Cathedral played host to the proud graduation of fourteen talented students from the Cathedrals’ Workshop Fellowship (CWF). This memorable event took place last week and marked the culmination of their dedication and hard work over the past two years. These individuals, enrolled in the CWF's Foundation degree in Applied Historic Building Conservation and Repair, completed their transformative journey amidst the resplendent surroundings of Canterbury Cathedral.
The event was graced by the presence of Hamish Ogston CBE, whose charitable Foundation – the Hamish Ogston Foundation - is actively supporting the CWF’s craft training as part of a monumental international £43m heritage craft skills development programme.
Honourable Guests and Distinguished Ceremony:
The prestigious Evensong service, presided over by the Very Reverend David Monteith, Dean of Canterbury Cathedral, was a solemn yet celebratory occasion. Dr Matthew Andrews, the Pro Vice Chancellor of the esteemed University of Gloucestershire, had the privilege of conferring the well-deserved awards to the accomplished graduates.
Frances Cambrook, CWF Executive Director, Commends the Graduates:
In an inspiring address to the graduates, CWF Executive Director Frances Cambrook emphasised the transformative nature of their educational journey. She shared words of encouragement, reflecting on their initial trepidation and their subsequent growth in confidence and expertise. She celebrated the remarkable determination displayed by these graduates, who managed to pursue their studies while simultaneously managing full-time work and family commitments. She underscored that this achievement was not theirs alone, acknowledging the unwavering support of their families, friends, and employers.
“When you started the course two years ago some of you indicated that you felt daunted but excited by the journey ahead of you. I hope that looking back you now feel that the course was less daunting than you feared and that you are now excited by what the next stage of your career has in store.
You have all demonstrated another quality, determination. You set yourselves a goal and stuck with it, whilst working full time and juggling family life. You, and your families, friends and employers who have supported you, can all be rightly very proud of what you have achieved.”
Dr Matthew Andrews Recognizes Outstanding Academic Excellence:
Dr Matthew Andrews took a moment to highlight the outstanding academic and practical accomplishments of this year's graduating class. With 10 students achieving Merit and 3 students earning Distinction qualifications, their results stand as a testament to both the robustness of the CWF programme and the immense talent of these graduates. He expressed a level of pride that any university would feel when recognising such stellar achievements.
Graduate Emma Waitzmann Reflects on Her Journey:
Emma Waitzmann, one of the accomplished graduates from York Minster, shared her excitement and gratitude on this momentous occasion. Graduating from the Foundation degree marked a significant milestone in her career. Emma expressed her eagerness to expand her horizons by embarking on a journey to New Zealand. There, she intends to apply her honed skills and expertise to various projects. Emma underscored how the CWF programme has not only enhanced her skillset but also bolstered her confidence, making her well-prepared for the exciting next chapter in her professional journey.
“Graduating from the Foundation degree has been a fantastic event and great opportunity to celebrate all of our successes. I am looking forward to travelling around New Zealand next following the end of my training role at York Minster and hopefully taking my skills to other projects there. This course has helped me develop my skills and confidence and I am now feeling ready for the next chapter of my career.”
A Grand Celebration at the Chapter House:
Following the ceremony, the Cathedral’s magnificent Chapter House played host to a joyous reception. It was the perfect setting for the graduates to revel in their well-earned success.
Amongst those celebrating their graduations were two Canterbury Cathedral masons, Jordan Cliffe and Niall Horsfall-Turner, who both deserve commendation in passing this challenging course with Merit. It is to be hoped that the enhanced training and contextual understanding they have gained through their studies will help equip them for bright and successful futures and that they can continue to use their knowledge and craft to expertly care for our extraordinary building.
The graduation ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral was a poignant celebration of talent, dedication, and the enduring legacy of the Cathedrals’ Workshop Fellowship. It marked not only the culmination of a remarkable educational journey but also the commencement of a promising future for these skilled craftspeople.