Welcomers and Guides

Come and join our friendly team!

St Mary's depends on a large team of volunteers to provide a ministry of welcome and hospitality to the many thousands of visitors who come to the University Church in the course of the year. There are a number of different ways in which volunteers can help and assist us:


Staffing the Information Desk by the High Street entrance, the Welcomers are often the first port of call for people visiting St Mary's. We provide a Highlights leaflet in different languages offering visitors an opportunity to learn more about the history and heritage of the University Church. The welcomers are responsible for offering a warm welcome to visitors, providing help with orientation, and helping to check in tour groups. They are assisted by members of the Operations Team, working alongside the Operations Manager, as well as the shop staff who manage the shop and tower.


After a period of service and training, welcomers can give short highlight talks to visitors. There are regular training days through the year, offering insights into the history of St Mary's as well as visits to other important sites in and around Oxford. We work closely with the Oxford Guild of Tour Guides.

Guides for Schools

Usually with a background in teaching and after a period of training as a welcomer, these guides take groups of children on a variety of tours. Groups are always accompanied by teachers and teaching assistants. In delivering this programme, we work closely with the Education team at the Cathedral. Please notes that School Guides are subject to an enhanced DBS check. Further information about this process will be provided to applicants.


  • Becoming part of our friendly team
  • Training and support to gain skills
  • Learning about history, architecture and heritage through trips and lectures
  • Social events
  • Volunteer benefits (e.g. discounts in the café / shop)
  • Valuable experience in the heritage sector


  • Flexible volunteering shifts
  • Welcoming visitors to the church
  • Participating in special events
  • Delivering tours of the church (after completion of training)

All volunteers should be in sympathy with the mission and values of the University Church. If you are interested, please get in touch with Patrick Croom, our Operations Manager, by email to receive an application form: patrick.croom@universitychurch.ox.ac.uk