Celebrating our student volunteers
Today is the start of Student Volunteering Week, celebrating the extraordinary contributions that young people make to worthwhile causes across the country. We couldn't do what we do without our volunteers, so we asked one of them, Mollie from Norwich, to tell us more about her experiences at the wonderful Church of St John, Maddermarket.
If you're interested in getting involved, visit our volunteer pages for more information.
Most Mondays for the past six months I have volunteered for two hours at St John Maddermarket in Norwich, and I really love it. I chose St John’s because I walked past it so many times during my two years in Norwich and always wondered what it was like inside. When I had the opportunity to see and get involved, I couldn’t pass it up.
As an art history student it is a lovely place to spend time, because I like being involved in a historical building in a hands-on fashion. I got involved with The Churches Conservation Trust because I believe it is very important to protect and preserve heritage buildings for the future. Volunteering for the church gave me the perfect opportunity to do so. I learnt about theories of conservation and preservation for my degree, so it is very rewarding to see it in action and be an active part of keeping the church open.
Learning from each other
As a volunteer at St John’s I’ve been able to get involved in fundraising activities, as well as conservation workshops, which will be useful when I hopefully go into the heritage sector after leaving university. The church has such a rich and interesting history and it's great to share this with visitors and hear their stories about the church and Norwich. Although I specialise in contemporary art as a part of my degree, being involved in the church provides a welcome contrast in my week.
My role includes welcoming visitors to the church and answering questions that they may have. I’ve met so many lovely people, both volunteers and visitors, through my role there. As a result, I’ve learnt a lot in the past six months. Before volunteering, I had very little interest or knowledge in medieval history but now I’ve got a new-found love and appreciation for it. Although the church can get really cold in winter, it makes it all worth it when people come through the doors, interact and enjoy the site as much as I do!
You can explore St John's Maddermarket and other beautiful church buildings in Norwich on our Historic Church Tour, Thursday 5 July 2018. Book your place here.