As Mothering Sunday gestures go, it certainly beats breakfast in bed or a bunch of daffodils.

Eighty-six-year-old Barbara Dixon is getting just what she wants this year – a promise from her daughter, Hilary Pickering, to work with her as a volunteer at Ripon Cathedral. They started working together days before Mothering Sunday.

Barbara has been a guide at the cathedral for 15 years and does a two-hour shift every other Saturday afternoon. As a Cathedral Guide, Barbara helps to enhance the experience of visitors by answering questions about the history and life of the cathedral. 

“My mother is very good at sighing and has kept telling me with a deep sigh how difficult it was to get other volunteers to join her on Saturdays”, said Hillary. I know how much she enjoys being a guide so I decided to commit to joining her.

“Like her, I am very fond of the cathedral and, as I am a people person – I was a teacher before I retired three years ago – I knew being a welcomer would be a perfect role for me.”

Barbara and Hilary, who are the cathedral’s first mother-and -daughter volunteer duo, say they get on very well. “ I must say that Hilary can be a bit bossy at times but then she would say the same about me. It’s an inherited family trait,” said Barbara.

If you too would like to volunteer at Ripon Cathedral, then please email [email protected], or ring the Cathedral Office on 01765 603462.