Sunday Visitor Experience Volunteer

Durham City

Inspired by our saints, Cuthbert and Bede, the mission of Durham Cathedral is to offer everyone the opportunity to encounter God and know God’s love in Jesus Christ. We welcome volunteers from any background, of all faiths and none, and those who in turn show respect and sensitivity towards all nationalities, religions, beliefs, cultures, backgrounds, and the ethos of the Cathedral as a working church.

As part of our important front of house team you will play a proactive role in ensuring that Durham Cathedral provides a well-informed and hospitable welcome to its many and varied visitors on Sundays.

Being visible and available to engage, inform and assist visitors, helping them to feel safe and confident within our spaces.

Supporting the smooth operation of the Cathedral, Museum and associated spaces as a working church and visitor attraction.

Being an ambassador for the Cathedral alongside staff and other volunteers to build and maintain the reputation of Durham Cathedral as one of the most welcoming and best-loved heritage sites in the region and beyond.


In this role you can expect to:

• Ensure a consistent welcome to the Cathedral and the associated spaces.
• Assist with the safe and efficient flow of people when entering, inside and leaving Cathedral spaces.
• Deal with visitor requests for assistance and information.
• Assist with concerns from visitors efficiently and politely.
• Be an informed advocate for the encouraged donation
• Help to promote awareness of the visitor offer in terms of activities and events.
• Check tickets on entry to the Museum and Central Tower and give associated guidance to visitors entering these spaces.
• Help staff to maintain an overview of the safety and wellbeing of visitors, exhibition materials and the building, including health and safety, safeguarding, and security.
• Appropriately and respectfully encourage conduct aligned with Cathedral policies

Skills & Qualities

For this role, we are looking for volunteers aged 16 or above with the following:

• A pleasant, polite, calm and welcoming manner.
• Confidence in approaching and advising visitors as required.
• Respect and sensitivity towards other religions, beliefs, cultures and backgrounds and the ethos of the Cathedral as a working church.
• Great communication skills.
• Tact and diplomacy.
• Ability to work in a team.
• Discreet and observant of visitor behaviour.
• Reliable with good time keeping.
• Flexibility and adaptability.
• Willingness and ability to learn and use new information through instruction and relevant training courses.
• Ability to build, maintain and expand upon your knowledge and articulate this knowledge to visitors in appropriate and engaging ways.
• An interest in history, heritage, culture and visitor experience.

When & Where?

The shift times for this role are:

• 10:40 – 16:00 on Sundays

Your shift begins with a team briefing before moving to your first position to begin welcoming visitors to the Museum (LEGO™ Cathedral model, Collections Gallery, Great Kitchen). Once the Cathedral also opens for general visiting from 12:30 your rotation expands to include positions around the main Cathedral spaces (welcome on entry, farewell on exit, each space in the Museum, Chapter House and the Central Tower).

We may also ask for your help with activities in other areas of the Cathedral site and invite you to support occasional events outside of the usual shift times.

We ask volunteers in this role to offer a minimum commitment of two shifts per month for a minimum of six months, but we are grateful for any gift of time that you can offer, so please do let us know if your availability is different so we can explore how best to fit around your needs.

Training and Support Offered/Expenses

The following will be provided:

• Introductory period, shadowing and specific training relevant to the role. This will include the use of two-way radio handsets used when on duty in certain locations. (in person)
• National Church of England Safeguarding training to Foundations level (online)
• ACT Terrorism Awareness training (online)
• Association of English Cathedrals national online training (online)
• Development in your role will be ongoing and at times you may be required to participate in additional training, such as our Exceptional Visitor Experience (EVE) workshops

Volunteer Benefits

• Experience in a visitor focused role and heritage environment.
• The satisfaction of creating an exceptional experience for visitors from all over the world and all walks of life.
• The chance to spend time around unique artefacts of international significance.
• Being part of a passionate and dedicated team.
• Learning about the Cathedral and region’s heritage and social context.
• Involvement in the important life and history of Durham’s most iconic building.
• References available on request.
• Various optional training useful in a personal and professional capacity.
• Northern Museums Volunteer Pass – free entry/discounts in other participating museums.
• Opportunity to join the Cathedral’s Community Roll
• Refreshments.
• Cloister Card offering 10% discount in the Cathedral Shop and Undercroft Restaurant (conditions apply).

Other Information

• Recruitment is through an application form with references, informal interview, shadowing and introductory period.
• You must undertake all required safeguarding training before your start date and at all times work within the policy and procedures of the relevant safeguarding policies.
• We shall ask you to commit to the behaviours and expectations outlined in our Volunteer Agreement.

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Durham Cathedral More information
Type: Museums/Heritage, Tourism, Reception/Customer Services, Faith/Religion

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