The Cathedral Volunteers are our lifeblood, working in a huge range of roles to make all who come here feel welcome, whether they’re visiting for a service or a quiet moment, to admire this stunning building or to take part in a social or cultural activity. Some volunteers also help raise much-valued funds.
What do Cathedral volunteers do?
The short answer is that without our 700 Cathedral Volunteers, we simply could not operate in the way we do.
For example, they play a key role in ensuring that our 1,500 Holy Services and many events a year run smoothly. They also work on the till and stocking shelves in our busy Cathedral Shop, and serve customers in our popular Cathedral Refectory.
They’re also the all-important ‘front face’ of the Cathedral, meeting and greeting over 130,000 visitors a year. Tourists tell us that taking a tour with one of our expert volunteer guides, or chatting with one of our gallery stewards, makes all the difference to their experience. With volunteer help, our well-respected education programme reaches 25,000 children and young people a year.
Our volunteers also generate income. They collect and sell second-hand books from the Deanery Bookstall in the Inner Close, and run the Cathedral’s own charity shop, Cloisters. They also support specific fund-raising drives.
Why become a Cathedral volunteer?
- Real job satisfaction – You’ll be playing a key role in bringing this great Cathedral alive for others, and helping it run smoothly every day. You’ll enjoy free entrance at any time.
- A supportive community – You’ll join a diverse group of over 700 local people from a huge range of backgrounds, all linked by their love of and commitment to this place.
- Variety and stimulation – You can join any of our different volunteer teams, or move between different roles over time. Whatever age you are, you’ll find working here helps you meet local people and stretch your skills. Our young volunteers find their experience here really adds to their CV.
- Flexibility – We normally ask you to make a regular commitment of one or two hours a week, but we understand you have a busy life and are happy to be flexible where needed. Some roles involve initial training; for others, you can start straight away.
- Support and training – We run a regular Volunteer Induction Course, consisting of three 1.5 hour sessions covering how the Cathedral is run and what’s special about it, plus specialist training for our Cathedral Guides and some other roles.
What kinds of roles are on offer?
We’d love to hear from you if you’d like to learn more about any of our volunteer teams:
- Bell-ringers – ringing our splendid peal of bells on Sundays and special days
- Cathedral Guides – leading 25,000 people a year on our guided tours (training required)
- Cathedral Refectory Helpers – helping serve food and clear tables
- Cathedral Shop Assistants – selling a wide range of books, gifts and souvenirs
- Children’s Workshop Helpers – helping with school groups and holiday activities
- Cloisters Helpers – raising funds through the Cathedral’s city-centre charity shop
- Events Stewards – helping our busy events programme run smoothly
- Flower Arrangers – bringing their magic to our floral decorations
- Gallery Stewards – helping visitors learn about the Morley Library, the Winchester Bible and the Triforium Gallery
- Holy Dusters and Brass Band – keeping the Cathedral’s fixtures and fittings gleaming, spick and span
- Hospitality team – Serving refreshments at special events
- Information Desk Helpers – selling souvenir items at the Cathedral exit
- Scribes Team – the largest group of calligraphers working in any English cathedral today
- Sidesmen – welcoming worshippers and showing them to their seats (includes men and women)
- Servers – helping with ceremonial duties at the Holy Eucharist
- The Deanery Bookstall – helping run our busy second-hand books area
- Tower Assistants – helping with our popular guided Tower Tours
- Vestment Care – helping conserve and preserve our precious vestments (training can be given)
- Wardrobe Team – maintaining the robes and surplices for the Cathedral choirs, and packing for choir tours
- Welcoming Stewards – greeting visitors and making them welcome
Each team is led by a Volunteer Section Head. Our Volunteer Coordinator can put you in touch, and also tell you other behind-the-scenes roles that may be of interest.
Our volunteers make a huge contribution. If you live locally and can spare just a few hours a week, please consider joining us!
Find out more
Interested in volunteering with us?
Email Hilary Dunwoody our Volunteer Co-ordinator, or call her via the Cathedral Office on 01962 857200.
Learn more about the Cathedral and its work
All about our aims, activities and people
Download a Volunteering at Winchester Cathedral leaflet (PDF)
More information plus how to register your interest
Volunteer in our Visitor Centre
More about our popular Cathedral Shop and Refectory
Become a Cathedral Guide
More about our guides, their training and the tours they offer