Voluntary Work Opportunities at Southwark Cathedral
This section contains information for volunteers about their work.
The Volunteers Officer, Michelle Ford is also available to give advice and guidance on volunteering matters.
Current vacancies are advertised below. If you would like information about other opportunities to work in a voluntary capacity please contact the Volunteers Officer, Michelle Ford or download the Volunteering Opportunities leaflet.
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.
The Role of a Cathedral Guide is to inform, entertain and inspire visitors. Guides need an outgoing personality, ready to engage with visitors and an awareness of their needs together. They must also have the ability to work on their own or within a team.
The role of a Cathedral Welcomer is to present the 'human face' of the Cathedral and provide a warm welcome to all our visitors. Working as part of a team, they are the point of reference for information and help.
To meet the diverse expectations and needs of our visitors, the Cathedral offers a variety of resources. The offering of pastoral ministry is chiefly the responsibility of the Day Chaplains who are usually ordained clergy, Readers of Southwark Pastoral Auxiliaries.
Cathedral Shop Assistant
The Cathedral Shop is open seven days per week and requires volunteers to help on all days of the week. Individuals are asked to commit to either a half-day or whole day, weekly or fortnightly, working with others on a rota basis. Past retail experience would be appreciated.
All volunteers working for the Cathedral are required to have an awareness of equal opportunities policies, diversity and Christian values.
Please note that two references will be required for all positions.
Travel expenses, up to the cost of a one-day travel card, will be reimbursed, where applicable. Volunteers also qualify for discounts on purchases through the Cathedral Shop and Refectory.
In addition, Southwark Cathedral is one of the participating churches in the Robes project which provides a winter shelter for homeless people in the local area. Volunteers are always needed.
The Role of a Cathedral Guide is to inform, entertain and inspire.
Visitors should feel at the end of their tour that they have had an enjoyable and informative experience which reveals both the history and the function of the Cathedral in a lively and interesting way and where their individual /group needs have been adequately and sensitively served. This should involve dialogue with the group and sensitivity to any special needs within the group.
There is a need for an outgoing personality, ready to engage with visitors and an awareness of their needs together. They must also have the ability to work on their own or within a team.
Guides are required to have an in-depth knowledge of the history of the Cathedral, its monuments and artefacts. They must also be aware of its pastoral and religious role. They need also to be aware of the other visitor and tourist attractions in the immediate area.
Additionally Guides should be familiar with Cathedral Regulations, current Health & Safety policies and Emergency procedures. Training will be provided.
For further information please contact Ruth Miller, Tours and Visitors Officer, 020 7367 6734, email@example.com
To apply: Please complete and return our Volunteers Application form
(several positions currently available)
The role of a Cathedral Welcomer is to present the 'human face' of the Cathedral and provide a warm welcome to all our visitors. Working as part of a team, they are the point of reference for information and help. They provide the registration point for tour leaders / guides before permitting their group access within the current regulations relating to the admission of such groups. They are also asked to promote the sale of Cathedral Guidebooks, and other material that may be available on the Welcome Desk, and encourage visitors to make voluntary donations in the collection boxes designated for such purposes. The role also involves encouraging visitors to visit the Shop, and Refectory and, when applicable, promote and sell the Cathedral's Guidebook. They are also asked to ensure that those visiting the Cathedral are respectful of its main purpose of existence.
Welcomers need to be aware of safety and security issues. Training will be provided. Opportunities will also be available to undertake the Tourist Board's Welcome Host Plus. These positions are also suitable for persons wishing to gain work experience towards seeking gainful paid employment and those who may be already undertaking some other accredited training programme.
Individuals are asked to commit to either a half-day or whole day, weekly or fortnightly, working with others on a rota basis.
Personal Specifications sought: An outgoing personality, ready to engage with visitors and an awareness of their needs together with the ability to work within a team. There is a need for flexibility as situations change daily.
For further information please contact Michelle Ford, Volunteers Officer, 020 7367 6749, firstname.lastname@example.org
To apply: Please complete and return our Volunteers Application form (PDF document).
Southwark Cathedral welcomes a large and increasing number of people every day. Some are tourists visiting a fascinating historic building. Some are worshippers coming either for private prayer or to take part in a service. Some are people who come looking for support, comfort or advice in varying degrees of personal need. To meet the diverse expectations and needs of these people, the Cathedral offers a variety of resources: Guides, Stewards, Welcomers and Day Chaplains. All of them play an important part in the Cathedral's ministry, and although pastoral sensitivity is required by all these people, the offering of pastoral ministry is chiefly the responsibility of the Day Chaplains.
Day Chaplains might be active or retired Readers, they may be Southwark Pastoral Auxiliaries, or retired clergy or come from various other walks of life,. but all of them are people who bring to the Cathedral pastoral skills which equip them to minister appropriately to people who may need a listening ear, who may need someone to pray with or for them, who may be asking for practical help, and who may be displaying signs of mental illness, or drug or alcohol abuse.
To help distinguish them, Day Chaplains wear a black cassock, a Cathedral badge around their neck and a name badge. They conduct brief hourly prayers from one of the lecterns and are invited to read the Epistle or first lesson at the lunchtime Eucharist. Top priority is always given, however, to being available for pastoral ministry during their period of duty, even if this means missing hourly prayers or the lunchtime service.
Day Chaplains operate a three-shift system every day, Monday to Saturday, covering the hours of 10 am to 6.30 pm. Some will offer a whole day, once or twice a month, and some will offer two, three or four separate shifts in any one month. They are normally to be found at the West end of the Cathedral, but moving quietly around the church from time to time increases their 'visibility' and is a good way of greeting and talking to people. It is in such conversations that Day Chaplains can often find the opportunity for the exercise of our pastoral ministry.
Day Chaplains respect the different roles of Guides, Stewards and Welcomers and work in close co-operation with them. Day Chaplains are appointed after an initial interview with the Day Chaplains Administrator, and they would undertake their first duties in tandem with another experienced Day Chaplain. They are given induction training, health and safety and other training available to all Cathedral volunteers. Day Chaplains are requested to attend a meeting every four months at the Cathedral when issues arising from their work are discussed and ongoing training and support are available.
For further information please contact our Day Chaplains' Administrator:
Day Chaplains' Administrator
To apply: Please complete and return our application form (83KB Word document).
We are looking for volunteers to assist the staff working in the Cathedral Shop to provide cover, particularly at busy times. Ideally, we need people who can volunteer at times on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, or at weekends. If you are interested in volunteering, it would be helpful if you could commit to specific half or whole day sessions, or even for blocks of a week, two weeks or a month, either full or part-time. Previous experience in retail is welcomed but not essential as training will be provided.
The role of volunteer in the Cathedral Shop involves:
- Assisting with the day to day running of the shop;
- Working as part of a team
- Helping to create a welcoming environment;
- Assisting and serving customers;
- Maintaining a high standard of customer service;
- Maintaining records of sales;
- General tidying and ensuring that the shop area is clean;
- Unpacking deliveries;
- Pricing goods;
- Assisting to maintain security and safety in the shop;
- Knowing when to pass issues and enquiries to staff;
- Maintaining appropriate standards of dress and personal hygiene
Personal attributes we are looking for people who are:
- Friendly and welcoming
- Organised and accurate
- Able to deal with money
- Aware of the importance of excellent customer service
- Security and safety conscious
- Committed to equal opportunities
To apply: Please complete and return our Volunteers Application form (PDF document).