Mike has been a cathedral guide for seven years, doing a weekly two-hour volunteer shift.

‘It’s a very friendly place, you make friends and have something in common; you’re part of a team and there’s a real sense of community.'

Mike – volunteer guide

Retired educational publisher Mike has been a Cathedral guide for seven years.  ‘I’m not particularly Christian, but the Cathedral drew me, I don’t know why. It’s a spiritual place. It tells the Christian story through art and architecture in a way I find really wonderful.’

The role of guide is an important one. ‘It’s about answering questions and welcoming, but I also take groups around which is a good opportunity to relate to people.’ 

‘It’s a very friendly place, you make friends and have something in common; you’re part of a team and there’s a real sense of community. It has enriched my life though it’s only a small part of it – I do a weekly two-hour shift.  But every time you go in through Tom Gate with the Tower above you, history is all around you and you go into the wonderful Norman architecture and see the stained glass windows – it’s a very special place.’

Mike, a volunteer guide at the Cathedral

Becoming a guide at Christ Church

Cathedral guide

Supervision: Volunteer and Visitor Coordinator (VVC), Head Guide

Time commitment: individual sign-up; on a rota basis

Purpose and function: To greet all visitors so that they feel welcomed and ready to explore. To inform and assist.

Role profile:

  • Enthusiastic about the Cathedral and its mission
  • Excellent communication and customer service skills
  • A positive, friendly, helpful and flexible attitude
  • A willingness to learn in order to attain an excellent grasp of the history, architecture, life, and purpose of the Cathedral
  • Able to operate as part of a team and to follow instructions
  • Able to use initiative and judgement
Cathedral guide


  • Offering a warm and friendly welcome at the entrance to the Cathedral
  • Being visible and available for questions or assistance
  • Engaging in conversation with visitors if it feels appropriate
  • Assisting visitors with the multimedia guides if required
  • Informing interested visitors about tours, talks, events, and services
  • Offering the ‘prayers on the hour’ in the absence of a Chaplain
  • Collaborating with fellow volunteers and members of staff
  • Supervising the property to help make sure everyone is safe and the site secure
  • Leading organised guided tours (Cathedral Tour Guides)

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.