There are many opportunities to volunteer at Wells Cathedral and it is a great way to meet people, feel involved with the community and work in one of the most beautiful and special places in the country.
We currently have over 300 volunteers, taking part in a wide range of activities and initial training is given for all roles. Help, advice and support is always available from other volunteers and members of the cathedral staff. Here are some of the many areas in which our volunteers work.
Essentially a Welcomer’s role is to provide a warm, friendly and sensitive welcome to people entering the Cathedral via the New Entry Cloister. The role includes handing over an appropriate welcome leaflet, notifying visitors of guided tours and generally helping them with directions.
The Duty Welcomer’s role is essentially to talk to visitors and to be there for people to talk to them. He or she generally walks around the Nave area and Cloister, remaining alert to peoples’ needs and to any unusual happenings in these areas. It is also a role in which time can be taken to st and talk to someone if need be.
Information Desk Staff
The Information Desk in the New Entry Cloister provides a focal point for visitor enquiries and administration for visits. Here volunteers answer questions, sell photographic permits, handle donations and complete the paperwork associated with group visits. They are also equipped with a radio that keeps them in contact with the Cathedral Office, the Virgers and the Guides.
Guides greatly enhance the visitor experience by imparting something of the history, current working life and meaning of the Cathedral through guided tours and duty guiding. There is a special training programme for Guides.
Stewards help at evening concerts by directing the audience to their seats and tidying and straightening the Cathedral after the concert. If an emergency arises stewards direct the audience to safety. During the concert the Steward is provided a complimentary seat.
Sidesmen are a very necessary part of Cathedral services, helping to welcome people, show them to seats, hand out orders of service, take collections, direct the congregation during the administration of Communion, and help to tidy the Cathedral after the service.
The Reading Room is open on Friday and Saturday afternoons for Cathedral visitors to view the old library. There is a small exhibition of library and archive materials. Library Welcomers will talk to visitors and provide information about the history and contents of the library. Donations of 50p are collected for the work of the library.
Library Assistants are required to supervise the use of the Reading Room as a reference and study library. They report to the Librarian and their responsibilities include the guidance of readers and the supervision of scholars using archives and rare books. Training is required and will be provided by the Librarian.
This beautiful Cathedral is complemented with flower arrangements in the Chapels and the Nave for much of the year. Flower Arrangers are needed for both large and small arrangements on a regular basis and for special occasions.
Coffee Rota Helper
As part of the hospitality of the Cathedral, coffee is served in the North Transept after the main 9.45am Eucharist every Sunday. Tables and urns are set up and taken down by the Virgers and the coffee helper team prepares and serves coffee, squash and biscuits.
Meeting once a month, the embroiderers look after the textiles in the Cathedral. Tasks range from maintaining the beautiful needlework in the Quire to sewing buttons on chorister robes.
Postmen & Postwomen
“The pigeon post” saves the Cathedral hundreds of pounds in postage. Once a week, our team hand deliver cathedral post in prescribed area of Wells. The walking keeps one fit and its fascinating to discover bits of hidden Wells.
The choir sings certain regular services in the Cathedral and deputies for the Cathedral Choir when it is on holiday or singing elsewhere. Membership is by audition and dependent upon vacancies. (The choir rehearses on Thursday evenings).
The bells at Wells Cathedral are the heaviest ring of ten bells in the world. Bellringers of all ages are welcome to join the band. New bellringers are also needed, and anyone wishing to learn to ring the bells will be given training.
Duty Chaplains are available to visitors for pastoral counseling or conversation. They conduct short prayers at the clock on the hour and celebrate Holy Communion at 12.25pm on Tuesdays.
Prayer Pilgrimage Helpers
Prayer Pilgrimages usually take place in the evenings. Helpers assist with leading prayers and shepherding the participants.
If you are interested in volunteering please contact :-
Ruth Clacee-Rowe,Visits Co-ordinator on [email protected]
She can also be contacted by telephone on 01749 674483
or by post to Cathedral Offices, Chain Gate, Cathedral Green, Wells, Somerset, BA5 2UE