Volunteering as a Steward at St Anne’s
As a Steward you make an important contribution to the mission and work of the Cathedral. This includes working at the Welcome Area, an extremely important role, ensuring all visitors receive a warm welcome and all the information they need to make the most of their visit, you may when competent, conduct organized tours of the Cathedral.
You will learn a lot, gain valuable experience, meet many people from all walks of life and all corners of the globe, and hopefully get a great deal of enjoyment out of it.
You may wish to serve St Anne’s Cathedral as an extension of your faith.
You may love the beauty and awe of the building itself, its history and architecture.
You may enjoy helping people whether it as a ‘listening ear’ or telling them about the building of the Cathedral and its history.
You may wish to get out and make some new friends.
Whatever the reason the rewards are immense and you will get so much out of the experience, from forming new friendships to gaining valuable work experience.
A Steward's Story
It was just a chance remark and made, not even to me but to my wife.
“Do you think Alwyn would be interested in stewarding in the Cathedral?”
The question put by Campbell Dixon, a minister in the Cathedral, was answered with an affirmative on my behalf and, I have to say, it has made a significant change to my life. It led to my now spending Friday mornings in St. Anne’s Cathedral talking to people from all over the world and I love it.
Having just retired, I was looking for something to do and stewarding at the Cathedral seemed perfect. So having persuaded my good friend and former colleague, David, to join me, we headed to St. Anne’s. We were shown round by Campbell who then introduced us to Norman Weatherall, one of the senior stewards and a man whose knowledge of the Cathedral is immense. He explained how the stewarding worked and gave us a very informative tour of St. Anne’s. What we learnt from him that day was that you don’t need to have any great knowledge about the Cathedral to be a steward but it is amazing how quickly you pick up a feel for the history and the significance of the place as you talk to people each day. Indeed every time I steward I learn a little more.
The thing is, if you like people and enjoy talking to them no matter who they are or where they are from, then stewarding is for you. There is nothing more enjoyable than meeting the many and diverse people who visit from all over the world.
Whether you are trying to converse with a Russian over in Belfast following his football team who has some time to put in before his flight home or you are gently chiding a Belfast resident who tells you that they have walked past the Cathedral every day for the past forty years, stewarding is about the people. I love when local men and women come in and realise what they have been missing, realise the beauty that they have on their own doorstep. There is genuine satisfaction when you see just how impressed they are by what is theirs and they realise that you don’t have to visit Paris or London or Barcelona to see a beautiful Cathedral. One visitor described St. Anne’s as a “Hidden Gem” in the visitor’s book. How right they were. The Cathedral has been and still is hugely important to the lives of the people of Belfast and, as a steward, I like to think that, in some small way, I am helping visitors to realise that.
If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a steward in St. Anne’s Cathedral Please contact Rev. Janice Elsdon at Janice@belfastcathedral.org or phone 07977058669