One of the volunteering positions at Bradford Cathedral is that of a welcomer who, as the title suggests, welcomes people into the building and helps them find their way around, and gives them important information about the history and heritage. It’s an important role for making sure people get the most out of their visit.

We spoke to Cyndy, one of our regular welcomers, to find out more about how she became a volunteer here at Bradford Cathedral.

“I decided to come and volunteer here after the pandemic. I had chosen to retire, having worked in my previous post for twenty-five years. I’m interested in local history and am an alumnus of the University of Bradford. The reason I wanted to volunteer was that I felt that I could give something back.

“I’ve always been busy and worked full-time, and I felt that I could learn from the people that visit: where they’ve come from; what their interests are; if they have specific interests about the monuments here. And I learn from them – one visitor told me lots about Flaxman [who appears in monuments in the Cathedral].

Cyndy, who is particularly interested in the stained glass in the Cathedral, and objects of interest such as the Queen Anne’s Bounty, told us about some of the many visitors we get, including former choristers, couples that got married in the Cathedral, and those looking into their family history and whose grandparents got married here. “I find everyone has got a story when they come in here. It’s a two way learning process!”

Cyndy – who first approached us about volunteering just before Christmas – also holds a ‘Welcome Host’ qualification from the England Tourist Board, as part of a series of training courses she did in previous years.

As part of this she had to work on a couple of new languages including Norwegian. “We were asked a series of questions and could ask questions in these languages, using a crib sheet.” The love of language runs in her family, and she can speak some French, Spanish and even Russian!

“I’m also interested in finding out people’s attitudes to being in an English church, because I’ve spent lots of time in churches on the continent. I like to be with people.”

We ended by asking Cyndy what she would say to anyone considering volunteering at Bradford Cathedral.

“I would say to find out what’s required of you, and to look online and find out what you can about Bradford Cathedral and read it all – which I did!

“You should look at welcoming from a visitor’s point of view – don’t assume everyone knows everything, even down to things like the history of the Church of the England.

“We had someone who came the other day to ask me about the difference between Roman Catholicism and the Church of England. I told him that I can’t tell you everything, but could arrange for you to speak to someone about it.

“You’ve got to have enthusiasm – all my life I’ve thrown my heart and soul into things – and get involved with everything you can!  “I’m enthusiastic to find out more about the history of the Cathedral and City and it’ s rewarding helping visitors to do the same. Plus, the staff are friendly and helpful!”

You can find out more about volunteering at

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