Durham City

To provide face to face, confidential emotional support to those who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair or struggling to cope with any aspects of their lives. To provide a modern day sanctuary for those who need to talk to someone. Signposting to specialist help as appropriate.

As a key part of the Cathedral Listening Team you will be expected to play a proactive role in ensuring that Durham Cathedral builds and maintains a reputation as one of the most welcoming and best loved attractions in the region and beyond.


• To offer a non-judgemental, active listening support service for visitors, volunteers and staff without prejudice.
• To maintain the anonymity of people confiding in you, providing a safe, confidential environment for people to talk
• Not to give advice, but to signpost to other nominated, specialist organisations to obtain support.
• Be an active member of the team, supporting fellow Listeners.
• To undertake any appropriate, ongoing training and development as required.
• To be an ambassador for the Cathedral, Durham City, North East of England and the UK.

Skills & Qualities

• To be able to communicate effectively with a wide range of people, maintaining a pleasant, polite, calm and respectful manner
at all times.
• Respect and sensitivity towards all nationalities, religions, beliefs, cultures and backgrounds.
• To maintain a positive attitude as a team player, with the confidence to also operate under your own initiative where
• To be open minded, discreet and honest.
• To be reliable, conscientious and flexible in your approach.
• To be emotionally resilient, aware of your own emotional triggers and have the ability to cope with your own feelings.
• To not openly affiliate with anyone confiding in you, or give out any personal information, apart from your first name as
• Possess a willingness to learn about the Cathedral, past, present and future in support of a visitors experience where required.

When & Where?

The Cathedral is open Monday-Sunday. Listening services are currently provided in the mornings, Monday to Saturday inclusive and afternoons on Mondays and Fridays. The Cathedral hopes to extend the number of afternoon shifts to cover Monday to Saturday, subject to resource levels. A minimum of two shifts per month is encouraged and Listeners can nominate shifts via a Quarterly Rota, managed by the Team Co-ordinators.

Listening services are mostly provided from the pews situated near to the candles and occasionally in the Cathedral Undercroft Restaurant.

Training and Support Offered/Expenses

• A dedicated day Listening skills course provided by the Listening Team Co-ordinators. Ongoing training as required.
• National Church of England Safeguarding mandatory training: The Church of England Basic Awareness (C0) online safeguarding
module must be completed before you start your volunteer role. Support to complete this is available. The Foundation Module
(C1) should be completed as soon as possible and preferably within 3 months of starting your volunteer role. It is offered as an
in-house group session and needs to be refreshed every 3 years.

• Regular team meetings throughout the year.
• Ongoing support from the Team Co-ordinators and other key members of the Cathedral staff, both during a Listening shift and
at any other time should a Volunteer feel that they need additional support. Full details are provided during the Induction
• Volunteers Manager and Volunteers Administrator.
* Canon Pastor and Pastor to the Community.

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.

Unfortunately we are unable to offer expenses.

Volunteer Benefits

• It can be a privilege to be part of an environment that enables people in need of emotional support to confide with a Listener.
• Being a Listener can sometimes be just as beneficial to the Listener as to the person being supported.
• To make a difference to people’s lives.
• Being involved in the important life and history of one of Durham’s most iconic buildings.
• 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 training and other volunteering roles 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.

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

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