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At Worcester Cathedral we are delighted to be hosting 22-year-old apprentice stonemason Janina Scheurer from Riederich, Germany on a three-week work placement at Worcester Cathedral.

Iris Bertz Ltd is a specialist organisation for creative approaches to education, working with European and UK partners. They arrange traineeships for young European students of applied crafts and trades.

Janina has impressed our Master Mason Darren Steele with her standard of work. Darren says: “Janina has hand carved and fixed a moulded string stone for the Edgar Tower restoration. On Janina’s second week she has studied different aspects of setting out, created templates, gathered information and completed various geometry studies.

“During Janina’s first morning in the workshops I wanted to gauge her skills on the workbench – I wasn’t disappointed! She worked an excellent flat surface together with a return on a sample piece and after thirty minutes I decided she was more than capable to work a piece for the Edgar Tower.

“In Janina’s final week she will undertake a carving project which will be part of a work-based assignment and very much a formal appraisal in her apprenticeship… no pressure then!

“Janina is considering carving a ‘Green Man’ (folklore - representation of a face surrounded by leaves) frequently found on many churches and even public houses.

“I wish all the very best for Janina in her future. I‘m quite sure that the placement has been very beneficial for Janina’s continued development in stonemasonry.”

Iris Bertz, Director Iris Bertz LTD has enjoyed working with the Cathedral: "A placement in a cathedral workshop is a special opportunity for an apprentice stonemason. Darren Steele really understands what a placement should encompass and has set a fantastic learning programme for Janina. Also other staff at the cathedral were extremely generous and supportive, helping with finding accommodation for Janina. For me the sense of generosity of the cathedral community shines through all my work here."

The Very Reverend Peter Atkinson, Dean of Worcester, adds: “At Worcester Cathedral, our stonemasons not only follow the traditional stonemasonry crafts, but are excellent in passing on their skills to others. I am very glad that Janina is spending time here as part of her training.”