Frequently Asked Questions
Any questions? We'll try to answer them here.
How do I book?
All educational visits (including self-guided ones) must be booked into the Cathedral diary via the Education Department. Contact Pam Elliott, our Education Officer, via the booking form to negotiate a date for your visit and discuss your requirements.
All visit requests are taken to our diary meeting on Wednesday mornings for approval. The Cathedral hosts a large number of events annually and unfortunately it is not always possible to accommodate group visits. Please do not book coaches or make any other arrangements until you have received written confirmation of your booking from Pam.
When can we come?
Our regular services mean that we offer activities inside the Cathedral between 0930-1300 and 1345- 1600. In between these times, groups often have lunch; but you are very welcome to attend the Holy Communion service if you prefer.
How far ahead should I book?
Please book as early as possible to avoid disappointment. Our returning groups book a year in advance. At the very least (and if diary space is available) two weeks’ notice is required.
Where can we eat lunch?
Weather permitting, packed lunches can be eaten on the grassed areas around the Cathedral. In the case of inclement weather, and subject to availability, a lunch room in the Cathedral is available for up to 35 pupils. This facility is offered free of charge to groups who book day visits. Please keep the lunch room tidy for other users.
What other facilities are available?
There are toilet facilities available in the Cathedral and in the Cathedral Visitor Centre.
How much will it cost?
- Trails (90 minutes) are £4 per learner, apart from Sacred Neighbours (multi-site visit) which is £8 per learner.
- Workshops (30 minutes) are £1.50 per learner.
- Cathedral Experience Days, featuring your choice of trail(s) and workshops (1000-1430), are offered at a special discounted price of £6 per learner. These sessions are particularly suitable for larger groups as they enable us to offer a rotational programme of activities. Some activities are led by Education Team Volunteers where possible, but will sometimes be self-led.
- Short, self-guided visits are £1.50 per learner; longer self-guided visits are by negotiation.
- Free places are provided for all accompanying adults.
- For full day visits, a lunch room (when available) is provided free of charge.
- We do not usually require payment in advance. You may pay on arrival or within 30 days by BACS, cash or cheque. Please refer to your invoice for additional payment information.
Why does the Cathedral charge for educational visits?
The Cathedral costs over £2800 per day to maintain and there is no subsidy from national or local government. To ensure that this valuable historic and spiritual building remains available for all, we make a charge to groups and ask for donations from individuals who visit the Cathedral for any purpose other than worship. The money raised from Educational Visits is put towards Education Officer’s salary and covers the costs of educational equipment and resources for schools and families.
We do not wish to preclude any group from experiencing everything that a visit to the Cathedral has to offer. If you anticipate any difficulties regarding payment, then please contact the Education Officer to discuss available options or special offers.
How many pupils can I bring?
In terms of costs, the minimum group size is 15 learners (you may bring fewer learners but will be charged for 15). This rule does not usually apply to SEND groups. In terms of learner experience, the ideal group size per session is 15-30. But the Cathedral space is large, and we can offer concurrent activities for larger groups (see Cathedral Experience Days, above).
What is your cancellation policy?
If you cancel your booking with less than 15 working days’ notice (i.e. 3 weeks), the Education Department reserves the right to charge for 40% of the total visit cost.
The Dean and Chapter reserve the right to vary arrangements at the Cathedral and we apologise if any parts of the cathedral are inaccessible at the time of your visit.
In exceptional circumstances, it may be necessary to cancel a school booking. The Dean and Chapter cannot be held liable for the cost of transport or any other costs which may have been incurred as part of the visit thus cancelled. In these circumstances, the Education Department will offer an alternative date and free workshop as a good will gesture.
Where do we come on arrival?
- There are no parking facilities at the Cathedral. Due to traffic and infrastructure changes please ensure your coach driver has researched the route to find the safest place for your group to alight!
- If you are running late please telephone and let us know: call 0161 833 2220 (Cathedral Office Team) or 0161 817 4814 (Pam’s direct phone).
- Once inside the Cathedral, please make yourself known to Pam or a Welcomer where you will be greeted and shown where you can leave lunch bags and coats (valuables must be kept on you).
What support materials are available?
We recommend that you prepare your learners carefully for their visit to make sure they get the most out of it. Pam will forward you materials relevant to your visit, if required. If you intend to use your own worksheets, it would be helpful if Pam could have a copy in advance.
Do we need to bring anything with us?
Not usually. We do recommend that secondary school pupils bring a notepad and pen! And if you are doing craft workshops, please bring carrier bags for your creations!
What is expected of teachers?
Teachers should discuss their learning aims and objectives for the visit with the Education Officer. They should also advise her of any special needs within the group that Cathedral staff should be made aware of.
Teachers and helpers should always stay with their group and experience sessions alongside their pupils. At all times during the visit, you will, of course, be responsible for the control and supervision of their group. We ask that all schools provide a ratio of at least 1 adult: 10 children or the statutory ratio, if this gives a higher proportion of adults. No pupils are to be left unsupervised in any area at any time. Please brief accompanying adults prior to the visit. Please ensure that your pupils understand the need for quiet in a place of worship.
To assess the quality of the visit we ask that teachers complete an evaluation form after their visit. We also select a sample number of children to complete children’s evaluation forms.
What about risk assessment?
We recommend that you prepare for your trip by pre-visiting the Cathedral. The Education Officer leads free preliminary visits for teachers, each month on Wednesday afternoons between 1500 and 1600; please ask for details.
Guidance for completing Risk Assessments is available; please note that this is not a substitute for a full risk assessment which should be completed by the teacher leading the visit.