Crypt Keeper - St John on the Wall, Bristol

St John on the Wall, Bristol

About the Site

St John’s is part of the very fabric of Bristol – it was built into the city walls in the 14th-century, acting both as part of the city’s defences, and as a place for travellers to offer prayers before a journey. As you walk down the slope of Broad Street, the view of the Gothic city gate with the elegant perpendicular spire of St John’s rising above is stunning. Monuments in the chancel and in the vaulted crypt beneath, testify to the wealth and business activity of the city in Medieval times and later.

What is a Crypt Keeper Volunteer?

As a Crypt Keeper you will enable public access to the stunning 14th century vaulted crypt of St John on the Wall in central Bristol; providing  a welcoming presence to visitors and playing an important role in telling the stories of the church and the people associated with it. We are looking for friendly and approachable individuals with some interest in local heritage and a desire to share their enthusiasm and knowledge.

What's involved?

  • Collecting the key from a nearby key-holder (2 minutes walk away)
  • Opening the doors and putting the A board out.
  • Being present in the church at all times whilst the door is open
  • Locking the church when done and returning the key.
  • Filling in an online rota to let the CCT know when you will be in the church and to ensure that there is always at least one other volunteer present with you.
  • Greeting visitors, communicating an enthusiasm for the church and its history.
  • Monitoring all matters affecting the church's contents, its use and enjoyment by visitors, and reporting back concerns as appropriate.
  • Ensuring a positive experience for visitors by answering queries, encouraging discussion and promoting the work of the CCT.
  • Being conversant with and capable of implementing emergency fire, evacuation and accident procedures.
  • Following security procedures to prevent theft or damage.
  • Being an active part of the volunteer team, supporting your peers and attending training workshops where necessary.
  • Becoming familiar with and following the Trust’s Health and Safety Policy at all times. You will be given a health and safety briefing when you start and there is written guidance in the church.

This will suit people who…. have an enthusiastic and friendly manner, enjoy meeting people, like operating as part of a team but able to work on their own initiative and who are keen to learn about the history of Bristol and the management of a city centre heritage attraction.


  • You will receive a half day training course and introduction to your role at St John’s. This welcome meeting will also be an opportunity to explore your hopes, expectations and requirements.
  • There will be a full time member of CCT staff to support you in your role based at St Thomas’ church, 5 minutes walk from St John’s.
  • You will be part of a team of volunteers and have the opportunity to join occasional group meetings and recieve a quarterly volunteer bulletin. 
  • Other training and development opportunities will be offered, but not mandatory, as part of the role.


Ed McGregor