Three generations of apprentice stonemasons took centre stage on Thursday evening at Sarum College to help launch Salisbury Cathedral’s new Sponsor a Stone scheme. Clerk of Works, Gary Price, who started his working life cutting stones for the Cathedral’s Save our Spire appeal 25 years ago – spoke about the traditional craft and skills that were needed to build the Cathedral is still alive today.
Christian Sullivan, the latest in a long line of apprentice stonemasons stretching back over 750 years, is in the second year of his five year apprenticeship leading to a degree. A stone bird bath that he designed and made as one of his ‘master pieces’ was auctioned and raised £700 towards the money still needed to repair the Cathedral.
The scheme gives sponsors a unique opportunity to leave their mark on the building, by having their initials carved on one of the 300 unique stones that the masons are working on this winter. When the stone is placed in the building in the spring, donors will receive a map and plan showing the location of their particular stone.
“We are now within touching distance of completing one of the longest and most sustained repair programmes of any medieval cathedral. By 2018 this 30 year undertaking will come to an end. There are a number of time capsules buried in parts of the Cathedral as repair work has been completed over the years. Now our stone sponsorship gives individuals a unique opportunity to leave their mark on the building alongside the craftsmen who originally built it.”
Prices range from £500 to £7,800 depending on the amount of decoration that the stones require, with some of the more intricate ones being snapped up straight away. One of only seven ‘Arched Springer’ stones at £1,000 was the first stone to be sponsored during the evening.
For further information about sponsoring a stone contact Jilly Wright (firstname.lastname@example.org)