Heritage skills reward for Rachael Wragg

03rd January 2024

A Lincoln Cathedral mason has received an award highlighting the high quality of her work.

Rachael Wragg has worked at Lincoln Cathedral since 2018 and received a Highly Commended certificate in the Duke of Gloucester Awards.

Rachael’s award in Category 1 is awarded to masons with between two and ten years’ experience post qualification, who demonstrate ‘high craft skills overall and the potential to grow as their careers progress.’

For the award, Rachael presented work which was part of the Lincoln Cathedral Chapter House project – a three-year conservation project to repair and maintain the historic building – including  template making, casting, and sketching of the ball flower carvings for replacement quatrefoil panels.

Rachael said:

“Working as a stonemason at a building like Lincoln Cathedral is a humbling experience when you think that your work sits alongside that of masons from hundreds of years ago. 

“It was an enormous privilege to receive the Duke of Gloucester award from the HRH the Duke of Gloucester and the Worshipful Company of Masons and such a huge honour to have my work recognised in this way and to be joined at the event by so many amazing fellow masons.”

The Duke of Gloucester Awards take place every two years and were introduced to encourage high standards in all aspects of the craft of stonemasonry. They are supported by the Masons’ Livery Company.

His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester is a passionate supporter of heritage, conservation and the built environment and has become Patron of Lincoln Cathedral.

His Royal Highness’ Patronage will highlight the Cathedral’s vital work in maintaining this important place of worship and pilgrimage for generations to come.

As the only Cathedral on Historic England’s ‘At Risk’ register, Lincoln Cathedral is committed to supporting heritage skills and training new generations of craftspeople to ensure that vital conservation work can continue.

The Revd Canon Dr Simon Jones, Interim Dean of Lincoln, said,

“We’re delighted that His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester has accepted the invitation to become the Cathedral’s Patron. Lincoln Cathedral is one of the Europe’s most significant buildings as well as being an important focal point for the people of Lincolnshire. The Duke of Gloucester’s support of our stewardship of this unique place is greatly appreciated. He shares our passion for the care of historic buildings, and we look forward to working with him in the future and welcoming him to the Cathedral.”

The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester have just been named patrons of Gloucester Cathedral’s In Tune campaign.

Their Royal Highnesses have a long-standing and close relationship with Gloucester Cathedral, including being patrons of Phase I of Project Pilgrim which was completed in 2018, and are frequent visitors to the city for the annual Gloucester Day Parade.

In this new patronage, they will play a crucial role in supporting the Cathedral’s In Tune campaign, which was launched earlier this year and aims to raise £3 million by 2026 to fund the refurbishment and renewal of the organ and support the cathedral’s musical education and heritage.

The Dean of Gloucester the Very Revd Andrew Zihni,said:

“I am delighted and honoured that Their Royal Highnesses, The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester have graciously accepted my invitation to become Patrons of our In Tune organ and music campaign. We are enormously grateful to The Duke and Duchess for their support in helping to ensure that we build the right foundations for a sustainable future for our music, so that generations to come can enjoy music and singing in Gloucester Cathedral, as well as in the wider community.

“We shall look forward to welcoming The Duke and Duchess to In Tune events between now and 2026, and hope that their support will encourage many others to give however they can to this campaign to enable us to continue to strengthen our communities to be in tune with heaven and in touch with daily life.”

 To find out more about the In Tune campaign, including how to donate, please visit https://gloucestercathedral.org.uk/support/in-tune-organ-and-music-campaign