Sidespeople play an important role at the main services of worship held in the Cathedral. They arrive before the service begins and are the first people to greet visitors and regular members of the congregation as they enter the building.
Apart from making visitors feel welcome, sidespeople are also responsible for handing out the bulletins containing the Order of Service, counting the attendance at each service, collecting the offertory, handling the hearing devices for the hard-of-hearing, tidying up the pews after each service, and recycling bulletins for the next service.
Since sidespeople are generally regarded as sources of information about the Cathedral, most are familiar with its history and the various events taking place in the building.
In addition to these regular duties, sidespeople are also called upon to assist at special services such as Royal visits, ordinations and large funerals, as well as at the major Feast and Holy Days in the Church calendar. These include Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, the Easter Vigil, Easter Day, the Advent Carol Service, the Nine Lessons and Carols, Christmas Day and the biggest of them all, Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve when at least 24 sidespersons are needed to handle a congregation in excess of 1000. At present, there are roughly 40 sidespeople who regularly commit their time to these duties.
Rotating monthly rosters are drawn up about twice a year. Those serving at the Choral Eucharist can expect to be on duty for one month in eight but because of a shortage of personnel, sidespeople at the Contemporary Eucharist and Choral Evensong are rotated on the roster much more frequently. Additional volunteers are urgently required for these two services.
Anyone interested should contact the Chief Sidesperson, currently Barbara Burke, through the Cathedral office: 250.383.2714.