Cathedral celebrates volunteers

We are celebrating and thanking the work of the hundreds of volunteers who share in Christ Church Cathedral's life and minsitry. The work of these more than 400 valued individuals ranges from embroidery to counting the collections, from bellrining to serving in worship.

During a party in the Deanery garden, long service awards were presented to 12 volunteers recognising the commitment they’ve given to the life of the Cathedral. Four received 25-year awards and eight 10-year awards.

The time our volunteers give varies depending on their other commitments, with our Cathedral guides working in blocks of two-hour shifts and our Cathedral Singers covering around 100 services a year between them.

Lilly Haines-Gadd has been volunteering with at the Cathedral since she was 11 years old when she joined the serving team, first set up by her grandfather Ken Gadd. After university she moved back to Oxford and joined the Cathedral Singers, with whom she has now been volunteering for 13 years. She said: “My family have always gone to Christ Church, I was baptised here and my parents and sister were married here and over the years it’s been my unchanging home. I joined as a volunteer to offer my service to the Cathedral and as a singer I have been able to support the worship at the Cathedral. The Cathedral Singers are so welcoming and I have met most of my best friends at the Cathedral. It’s a significant part of my life.

“Volunteering offers a sense of community participation. There are lots of people I recognise in the congregation but when you join a volunteer body you really get to know other people in your community: the volunteers are really supportive of each other and there is a real sense of camaraderie.”

Tom Bower volunteers with the Education Department at Christ Church, showing school groups around. He said: “Volunteering puts an even more human face on an establishment and the Education Department, getting groups in to show them round the Cathedral, the Great Hall and the College is a fantastic piece of outreach. I love my role!”  

The Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, Martyn Percy said: “Volunteers are the lifeblood of any great historic institution, and Christ Church Cathedral is no different. Our volunteers work tirelessly and selflessly – and enthusiastically and creatively – to give the very best service to the tens of thousands of visitors, worshippers and pilgrims who pour into the Cathedral each and every week. We owe them an enormous debt of gratitude for all they do – for all of their devoted service, immense industry and great kindness to one and all.”

Miranda Hockliffe, the Cathedral Visitor Officer said: “The Cathedral Guides are an invaluable part of our ministry of welcome who inspire our visitors with their knowledge and kindness.  As Cathedral Visitor Officer I am immensely grateful to them every day for the dedication, patience, sense of humour, and deep reserves of knowledge they voluntarily bring to the Cathedral”.

For more information about volunteering at Christ Church Cathedral, please contact Miranda: miranda.hockliffe@chch.ox.ac.uk