What do volunteers do?

There are various ways in which volunteers help at the Minster.

Service and Concert Stewards

Stewarding at services and concerts usually takes place in the evening or at a weekend and involves welcoming people to the Minster, directing them to their seat and distributing service sheets. Some of this is on a rota basis, eg. stewarding at Evensong and some Sunday Services. Extra services and concerts are on an ad-hoc basis.

Servers

The Minster also has Servers to assist in the worship of the Cathedral by performing specific duties in the services. They include the crucifer who carries the processional cross, the taperers who carry candles in procession and the thurifer who, at some services, carries and swings the thurible emitting incense.

Library, Archive and Collections Volunteers

The Old Palace Historic Collections has several volunteer roles. Volunteers on the Old Palace reception welcome users and provide information. Volunteers also steward the many exhibitions held in the Old Palace. Volunteers also help with projects in the Archives and Collections.

Guides

Guides are in the Minster Monday to Saturday and work in two ways, either as a Scheduled Guide with a commitment of one guided tour a week, or as a Session Guide spending half a day a week in the Minster engaging with visitors and conducting a guided tours. Some Guides undergo additional training to become a guide in the Minster's Centre for School Visits. All who guide in the Minster have to have taken the Guides Course. 

Informal Learning Volunteers

Informal Learning Volunteers assist the Education Officers and in providing exciting family activities during school holidays which enhance visitor enjoyment, leading to a greater understanding of York Minster and its collections. Recent activities have included designing shields, making clay tiles and gargoyles and stained glass sun-catchers. This role does not have a rota but is on ad-hoc basis.

Information Desk Stewards and Chapter House Stewards

The Information Desk Stewards answer visitors' questions at the Information point in the Minster. There are four time slots, (Mon - Sat) and volunteers would normally undertake one of these time slots per week. Information Desk Stewards work alongside the Group Desk Coordinator (a paid member of staff). You would be given an initial induction and as there is information on the desk, you would read and learn as you went along. Chapter House Stewards also have a rota with two-hour time slots, and are based in the Chapter House to enable visitors to ask questions about the Chapter House.

Specialised Roles

Volunteers are also engaged in more specialised roles, including: embroidery, caring for vestments, flower arranging and Sunday School helpers. Our Honorary Chaplains also provide pastoral care for visitors

Bell Ringers

The York Minster Society of Change Ringers, to which those interested in ringing can find out more about their activities. The web site is full of interesting facts about the Minster bells and includes several videos of the bells being rung.

  • 07.30 Matins
  • 07.50 Holy Communion (Order 1)
  • 12.30 Holy Communion (BCP)
  • 17.15 Evensong