Clergy and readers throughout the Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales are invited to join in the life of their Cathedral by becoming Daily Chaplains, offering a listening ear, prayer, and practical help to people in need and being a visible, prayerful presence. This new scheme will be launched at Easter with a preliminary meeting on February 25th for anyone interested in volunteering.

The Background

Many English Cathedrals operate a voluntary chaplaincy scheme which complements their Guides and Welcomers by providing pastoral care for visitors, generally during the summer season. In Ripon Cathedral we are planning to begin Daily Chaplaincy from Easter to October starting this year. Many visitors in the cathedral just come in search of quiet and a prayer opportunity, but some are in distress or need someone to talk to. Daily Chaplains can be Clergy or Readers; probably in practice many will be retired Clergy although active Clergy might value the opportunity to spend a period of time just enjoying being in their Cathedral. Chaplains need to minister appropriately to people who may need a listening ear, someone to pray with or for them, practical help, or may be displaying signs of mental illness, drug or alcohol abuse.

To help distinguish them, cathedral chaplains would wear a black cassock, a cathedral badge around their neck and a name badge. They would conduct brief prayers at one point in their session and would be invited to read the first lesson at the lunchtime Eucharist (12noon on Wednesday or Friday). Top priority will always be given, however, to the need to be available for pastoral ministry during their period of duty.

Initially we will operate a two shift daily system, Monday to Saturday, covering the hours of 10 am to 4pm – so 10am-1pm (1st session) and 1pm – 4pm (2nd session). Some chaplains might offer a whole day, once or twice a month, and some might offer two, three or four separate shifts in any one month. Chaplains have a ‘ministry of walking around’ by moving quietly around the cathedral from time to time which increases their ‘visibility’ and is a good way of greeting and talking to people.

If you are interested in attending the initial meeting on February 25th or wish to find out more please contact Canon Wendy Wilby on 07720141548 or email [email protected]