Chaplain Volunteer

Durham City

To support the important and long Benedictine tradition of welcoming everyone to the Cathedral through the Cathedral’s Ministry of Welcome.

Being available to visitors, volunteers and staff who wish to discuss faith or have spiritual or pastoral concerns.

*** It is essential that all chaplains are under the authority of their respective Church and the Cathedral cannot accept chaplains whose ministry is not recognised by and accountable to a Christian Church that is a member of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI). *** All chaplains are in authorised ministry in a recognised Christian church and lay chaplains work alongside ordained chaplains.


• Provide counsel and support for people who want to talk in confidence about pastoral and/or spiritual concerns.
• Provide appropriate ministry and/or refer people to other sources of help.
• Ensure a consistent welcome, engaging with visitors as appropriate.
• Be an ambassador for the Cathedral and the Church of England.
• Have an awareness of the safety, security and well-being of visitors and the building.
• To volunteer alongside volunteers, staff and the Pastor to the Cathedral Community as required.

Skills & Qualities

• Christians who are at ease with themselves and others.
• A pleasant, polite, calm and welcoming manner.
• Share the Cathedral’s vision for ministry to visitors and staff.
• Interest in and skills for meeting people and being available to them.
• Approachable but respectful other people’s space.
• Good listeners. Experience of counselling is useful.
• Ability to recognise when a conversation needs to move into a more focused pastoral mode and are able to facilitate that shift.
• Not easily shocked and who can keep confidences appropriately.
• Respectful and sensitive towards all nationalities, religions, beliefs, cultures and backgrounds.
• Can explain the Christian faith to people whatever their background in the faith.
• Comfortable praying with people when appropriate and are able to respond when a confession is asked for.
• Empathy and / or awareness of mental health issues.
• Discreet and observant of visitor behaviour.
• A reasonable degree of mobility to negotiate standing, sitting, walking as well as negotiating steps and uneven surfaces.

When & Where?

The Cathedral is open Monday – Sunday:
You would join a stewarding team: Mon. – Sat. shifts are 09:30-13:00 and 12:45- 16:30, plus up to 20:00 during some summer months. Sun. shifts are 12:30-15:00 and 15:00 – 17:30.

There are two chaplaincy seasons - the summer season when the full team is used and the quieter winter season. At least four duties per season is encouraged but times are flexible and we wish to encourage any donation of time.

Durham Cathedral and its environs.

Training and Support Offered/Expenses

• Induction.
• Shadowing existing Chaplains.
• Effective Listening training from our Listeners.
• National Church of England Safeguarding training (mandatory): The Basic Awareness module (done once), Foundation module and Leadership module (refreshed every three years) of this online safeguarding course must be completed before you start your volunteer role. They can be accessed at and a copies of your certificates are required as part of your induction. If you would like support with online access or you have been affected by any of the content, please just let us know as help is available.

The Cathedral is committed to supporting chaplains in the ministry they undertake in its name and organises regular meetings which it is expected chaplains attend. Additional training and support will be arranged as required.

• Canon Chancellor and PA to the Dean.
• Volunteers Manager.

Volunteers and staff work proactively together to create a welcoming and supportive front of house team.

Durham Cathedral has been awarded the County Durham Kite Mark in volunteering (administered by Durham Community Action) which shows that it recognises the value of recruiting and retaining volunteers, works to overcome barriers to volunteering and is a place where volunteers receive a high quality, positive experience.

• Certain expenses can be reimbursed as agreed in advance.

Volunteer Benefits

• Making a real difference to a wide range of people who may benefit from pastoral care and spiritual counsel.
• Playing an important role in helping to facilitate the Cathedral’s welcome and make visitors’, staff and other volunteers’
experience of faith as positive as possible.
• Meeting a wide range of people from all over the world.
• Being part of a passionate and dedicated team.
• Being part of some of the key events in the Cathedral’s liturgical calendar and involvement in the important life and history of
Durham’s most iconic building.
• Opportunity to join the Cathedral’s Community Roll.
• Cloister Card offering 10% discount in the Cathedral Shop and Undercroft Restaurant.
• Refreshments.
• The opportunity to access other volunteering roles and training within the Cathedral.

Other Information

Recruitment is through an application form with references, informal interview, induction, shadowing and introductory period.

Due to severely limited space we are sorry but there is no parking available to volunteers in the Cathedral grounds unless agreed in advance.

Durham Cathedral takes the safeguarding and welfare of its staff, clergy, volunteers and visitors extremely seriously and will take immediate action in any circumstance where the safety and protection of children and vulnerable adults is at stake. It is expected that all staff and volunteers share this commitment.

A DBS check is mandatory for this role.

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Durham Cathedral More information
Hours: Cathedral Office is open 09:00 - 16:30 Type: Advice & Guidance, Museums/Heritage, Faith/Religion
Recognition of Quality Volunteer Experience

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