Marian has volunteered as a Day Chaplain at the Cathedral for the past three years, attending about once a month.

‘You never know what people are going through; sometimes the prayers really touch people, and they would just like someone to talk to.’

Marian – volunteer chaplain guide

Marian was licensed as a lay minister in 2017 in a ceremony at the Cathedral. Her local parish is in Buckinghamshire, where she leads services and preaches She has volunteered as a Day Chaplain at the Cathedral for the past three years, attending about once a month. She says prayers on the hour, a reminder to visitors that the Cathedral is a place of worship, and is on hand if anyone would like to talk to a minister.  ‘You never know what people are going through; sometimes the prayers really touch people, and they would just like someone to talk to.’ 

Like so many others, she is drawn to the Cathedral: ‘There’s something about this place. Though there’s been turmoil with the pandemic, it’s a blink of an eye in the history of the church of Christ, and in the history of this building.  This place was chosen so long ago to be a holy place, different generations have built their home of worship on this spot. You can really feel the spirituality when you’re here.’ 

Licensed Lay Ministers like Marian and ordained priests are regularly in attendance at the Cathedral to pray and to support worshippers and visitors.

Marian, a volunteer Chaplain Guide at the Cathedral

Becoming a Day Chaplain at Christ Church

Supervision: Volunteer and Visitor Coordinator

Time commitment: Sign up according to your availability (no minimum requirement)

Purpose and function: As Ordained and Lay Ministers, Day Chaplains are a key point of pastoral contact for visitors. They provide a visible and easily accessible source of support for visitors needing pastoral care and serve as a reminder of the Cathedral’s primary function as a house of prayer and place of worship. Cathedral clergy have many other duties and are unable to carry out this ministry of being visibly present and constantly available to visitors throughout the day.

Role profile:

  • Be ordained or a Licensed Lay Minister or in another form of authorised ministry (on a case by case basis)
  • Enthusiastic about the Cathedral and its mission
  • Excellent communication, listening and pastoral skills
  • A positive, friendly, helpful and flexible attitude
  • Able to operate alone and as part of a team
  • Experienced in using initiative and judgement

Duties:

  • To provide a ministry of visible, prayerful presence to Cathedral visitors and volunteers
  • To have a prayerful, helpful, welcoming, friendly attitude
  • To engage in conversation with visitors if it feels appropriate
  • To provide any and all of the following, responding to the needs and requests of visitors: a listening ear, personal prayers, practical and spiritual advice, and (in the case of ordained ministers) confession and absolution
  • To offer brief prayers from the pulpit (not exceeding two minutes, text provided) on the hour every hour
  • To report any concerns about individuals and to seek support from staff in case of difficulty
  • To offer short talks or tours on occasion (as agreed with the Volunteer and Visitor Coordinator)

General volunteer requirements:

  • Read and follow the Christ Church Cathedral Volunteer Safeguarding Guide
  • Complete Church of England Safeguarding Training – Basic Awareness, and Foundation modules
  • Read and sign the Volunteer Agreement
  • Complete induction training which will include Health & Safety, Fire, Security, as appropriate for the role
  • Depending on additional advice received from the UK government or Church of England, you may be required to attend additional training sessions
  • Attend Volunteer Days and training sessions as appropriate for the role


Volunteer benefits

  • Become part of a friendly, supportive and welcoming community of volunteers
  • Invitations to monthly coffee mornings with quizzes and talks; annual Garden Party and Epiphany Party (including a guest); visits to places of interest
  • Priority booking to services such as Nine Lessons & Carols
  • Free entry to the Christ Church site at any time (when open) with family or friends
  • 10% discount in the Christ Church shop.

Other volunteer roles

Find out more about all the volunteer roles available at the Cathedral.