This year, on the centenary of women's suffrage, we are celebrating the women who play important roles in the daily life of the Cathedral community.
Each Saturday of the year, we will be sharing a different story here and across our social media. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and search for the #BlessedIsShe hashtag.
This week, we spoke with Frances Taylor, the cathedral's Education Officer.
What’s your connection with Bristol Cathedral?
I am the Education Officer so I plan and deliver our educational program for schools visiting the Cathedral. I also run our Crafty Cathedral art and craft holiday sessions.
How long have you been associated with the Cathedral?
Just over 3 years.
What first drew you to Bristol Cathedral?
I was working as a secondary RE teacher in Taunton with a fairly new baby; tired and stressed, I came across the Education Officer post and it just seemed to fit. It’s a job where I can continue my love of teaching, and balance this with having a family. Teaching children of all ages at the cathedral was also an exciting challenge which drew me to the post.
What have been some of your personal highlights?
Hosting two really successful sixth form conferences, and collaborating with schools and universities to make them happen has got to be up there! Our Christmas trails are also an annual highlight, as we transform the cathedral to retell Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem. The children’s faces light up when they finally arrive at our ‘stable’ – it really is magical.
When I started back in 2014, I had no experience of working with or managing volunteers. I now consider this to be one of the best things about my job. It’s a real privilege to work alongside a team of people who are so knowledgeable and passionate about our cathedral and who put time and energy into helping with numerous school visits. I am in awe of them.
What would you like to see the Cathedral doing over the next few years?
I’d like to see even more children crossing the threshold; for school visits, family events or just to come and explore. I want children to feel that the cathedral is a place for them to come, to learn, to be.
What does the Cathedral mean for you?
The cathedral is my place of work, but it is absolutely unique and that makes it very special. The cathedral is also about the people; a walk through the nave almost always involves stopping to speak with someone; either volunteers, other staff, or members of the public, and that’s a real privilege.