It is not often that the opportunity to work on a world-famous 800-year-old listed building comes up, along with the chance to learn the age-old skills used by stonemasons across the centuries…
But this week Salisbury Cathedral are opening applications for a four-year stonemason’s apprenticeship in the Cathedral Works Yard.
The Cathedral is one of only nine English cathedrals with its own Works Yard (there are 42 English cathedrals in total) and it is the only one with the equipment and capacity to work stone from a quarry block to fixing the final stone. This means that the successful candidate will get a real A-Z training in all aspects of stonemasonry from mould cutting and carving to fixing and conserving.
Gary Price, Clerk of the Works said: “We are looking for someone who has a real passion for Salisbury and its Cathedral. The successful applicant will be working amongst arguably some of the best craftsmen and craftswomen in the country. This is the route followed by our current Head Mason, Lee Andrews, who joined us as an apprentice and then went on to complete a specialist ecclesiastical stonemasonry degree.”
The new apprentice opportunity has arisen because Christian Sullivan, the most recent apprentice has completed his four year training and has now graduated as a fully fledged stonemason.
On Monday 19 June at 12.30 in the Works Yard, Christian will be presented with his completed indenture documents, sealed with the Cathedral’s wax seal by the Chapter Clerk and Chief Executive, Jackie Molnar. This officially confirms that he has completed all aspects of his apprenticeship.
Christian, who has now embarked on the stonemasonry foundation degree, marked the end of his training by carving and fixing a finial on the South east side of the Cathedral. Like most of the apprentices that join the Cathedral he is local and came to the job with no prior experience. For Head Mason Lee Andrews this is a huge advantage: “We like to start from scratch with our apprentices because this allows us to train them in our ways and helps them to blend with the team. Of course we take ready-formed talent but this particular post offers a great opportunity to create our own home-grown talent.”
The stonemason apprenticeship is advertised on the Cathedral website: salisburycathedral.org.uk/about-us/work-us. Anyone interested in applying should download and complete the application form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday 3 July 12 noon.
Interviews will be held between 10 - 14 July and shortlisted candidates will be invited to a two day assessment in the workshop between 17 - 28 July. The Cathedral are looking for the new apprentice to start at end of August.
For any other enquiries or further information contact Marie Thomas at Salisbury Cathedral email@example.com 01722 555148