Invisible Volunteers: Are church volunteers empowered or ignored?
Hill, Julia (Church Urban Fund) (2015)

Many activities carried out by church members are not articulated as volunteer roles.  This research focuses on volunteers involved in Church of England churches and looks at the relationship between how volunteer roles are perceived and how they are valued and managed.  It will be based on a combination of questionnaires completed by church members, a survey of church leaders and more in depth interviews with those church leaders.  It will focus on what impact the articulation or non-articulation of roles has on the support given, opportunities for development, the felt experience of the volunteer (especially in terms of recognition and appreciation) and the ability of the church to tackle difficulties that arise in relation to volunteers’ activities.


Julia Hill works for Church Urban Fund to help enable people in churches to volunteer in projects that tackle poverty and to help churches and projects work effectively with volunteers – not least so that those who volunteer doesn’t get put off by negative experiences!  Julia was previously a museum volunteer manager in Bristol and is co-author of the Association of Independent Museum’s 2013 Success Guide on working with volunteers.  Much of the past couple of years has been spent considering how secular good practice can be adapted to fit volunteering in a church context.

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