Voluntary Work Opportunities at Southwark Cathedral

Guild of Stewards 

Volunteers are needed to join the Guild of Stewards to serve on weekdays and Sundays. The Stewards assist the movement of people during services and events and play an important role in the Cathedral’s Ministry of Welcome. A team of Stewards is on duty for most services. Training will be given and new Stewards shadow in a team to gain experience.

More information on Stewards

Stewards must be welcoming and sensitive to the needs of both congregation and visitors. They should worship at the Cathedral regularly and be willing to work closely with the clergy and vergers to make sure everyone is welcomed and the services run smoothly.  Ideally Stewards will be:

  • reliable and conscientious;
  • able to express warmth and welcome in an open and inclusive manner and to have strong interpersonal skills;
  • able to work well in a team and to take direction from the Lead Steward;
  • able to exercise authority in an appropriate manner and to help in the emergency evacuation of the Cathedral or the management of a disturbance;
  • physically robust enough to stand for long periods and to move quickly when necessary;
  • flexible and adaptable with a good sense of humour;
  • willing and able to attend and respond to training;
  • a person whose conduct and appearance reflects the importance of this role.

Rôle description

The normal time commitment for Stewards is one Sunday morning a month (from about 10am to 12.30am) plus one or more other services. 

The main task of the Stewards is to help manage the movement of people at the Cathedral during services and special occasions.  All stewards are expected to attend a refresher training event once a year. 

Stewards are responsible for:

  • meeting and welcoming worshippers and visitors;
  • ensuring that special visitors are cared for as advised by the Chapter;
  • ensuring that disabled visitors, children and those with special needs are cared for in line with Cathedral policy;
  • administering the door admission policy at ticket-only events, as directed by the Vergers;
  • preparing and distributing service and information sheets, books, etc;
  • liaising and working with the Vergers in maintaining good order before, during and immediately following acts of worship;
  • enabling and ensuring the efficient movement of people during services;
  • working with others to create a calm and quiet atmosphere of prayer, worship and meditation;
  • taking the collection and managing the security of monies under the direction of the Head Verger;
  • assisting the clergy and vergers in evacuating the Cathedral in the event of an emergency and dealing with any disturbance.

Selection and preparation of Stewards for their rôle

Those interested in becoming Stewards will be invited to an informal meeting with the Guild’s Training Officer and one other member of the Stewards’ Committee. Once the rôle of Cathedral Steward has been explained and understood, provided that the person has demonstrated the potential to meet the requirements set out in the specification, training will be offered that will include some shadowing sessions.  

Training for new recruits is organised by the Guild’s Training Officer. On the successful completion of the Stewards’ Training Programme - “The Smiling Face of Southwark” - there is a probationary period. This involves a period of shadowing Stewards at 5 services – 3 Sunday 11am services and two sessions at other key services, eg Sunday 3pm, Sunday 6.30pm or weekday choral evensong. These shadowing sessions should be completed within 3 months of initial training.

There will be a follow-up meeting, after the completion of the probationary period, to ensure that the individual has demonstrated the skills and qualities needed and understands the commitment he/she is about to make and is still willing to do this. If the individual has successfully completed the probationary period and confirms their desire to become a steward, his/her name will go forward to the Committee for ratification.  The Steward’s Certificate and Gold ribbon will be awarded during a service on an appropriate occasion.  

To apply or for more information: please contact Odette Penwarden, Guild Training Officer odette.penwarden@southwark.anglican.org