Interpretation Assistant (Walk Around Guide) - St Mary's, Itchen Stoke

Home based/Flexible/Our office
St Mary's Church, Itchen Stoke, Hampshire

About the church: 

A jewel inspired by the chapel of French kings, St Mary's was built in 1866, by Henry Conybeare for his brother who was the Rector of the church, and felt the previous church was cold and damp. He himself bore most of the cost, with the parishioners contributing £50 towards the cost of the windows, as a mark of their regard for him. This dazzling and colourful Victorian jewel of a church overwhelms the senses -it is a truly exhilarating building, tall and imposing, especially as you approach it up a steep path from the road. Its design is clearly inspired by the soaring elegance of the 13th-century Sainte Chapelle in Paris, chapel of French kings. The church is a dazzling kaleidoscopic wonderland of pattern and colour...

  • The roof is richly painted
  • The font is inlaid with a variety of marble
  • The floor near the altar is decorated with sparkling tiles laid out in the form of a maze
  • The pulpit has five panels filled with scrollwork and foliage in cast iron (the same design is repeated on the ends of the pews).
  • Best of all however is the stained glass, especially in the west window. The elegant arched windows contain small pieces of clear red, blue and green glass arranged in geometrical patterns.

Try to visit on a sunny day, when the church is bathed in gloriously coloured light - an unforgettable sight. Two memorial brasses remain from the previous medieval church.

Main purpose of the role: To write, design and produce a church “walk around guide” which will provide a brief history of the church and point out items of interest to visitors.

Range of tasks to be carried out:

  • Taking information from various sources (old church guidebook, historical notes, advice from local volunteers and other external sources) you will be responsible for writing content for a “walk around guide”.
  • Working to CCT brand guidelines to either design, or provide advice on design and layout of the guide.
  • If willing you will have the opportunity to work with an external design agency to oversee the print and production of the guide.
  • Analysing the church’s visitor book to identify the current audience for interpretation in the church.
  • Providing advice and ideas to the CCT for future interpretation projects at the church.
  • To be an active member of the volunteer team, supporting other volunteers and attending training workshops when required.
  • Be familiar with and follow the Trust’s Health & Safety policy at all times.

Skills required: This role would be suitable for a creative person with strong written communication skills, basic IT skills (MS Word, publication design packages), and an interest in history and tourism. Experience in historical research, marketing or design roles and writing or editing public facing materials would be useful. This role would provide excellent experience for anyone wanting to gain experience in interpretation or visitor facing role in the heritage sector.

Time commitment: Flexible. This is a fixed term project, the end point of which would be the production of the church walk around guide. A guideline timeframe might be an evening a week for 8 weeks.

Support: You will receive one to one support from your Volunteering Officer. CCT brand guidelines and templates for walk around guides will be provided. Additional support will be identified during induction and reviewed at regular intervals.

Training required: You will be required to attend a general induction and a health and safety induction.  Other training needs will be reviewed with you at regular intervals.


Ed McGregor
07872 502 118