Old Aberdeen’s historic St Machar’s Cathedral is appealing for volunteers to help welcome visitors, anticipating a significant rise in footfall with the first cruise ships now arriving at the city’s new £400million South Harbour.

Some 30,000 people visited the medieval landmark last year – with 2023 expected to smash pre-pandemic visitor records. Many of the first cruise liner visitors to disembark in Aberdeen this week were ferried to the church by coach, discovering St Machar’s history of Christian worship dating back over 1000 years and its central role through some of the most tumultuous times in Scottish history.

The Cathedral Church of St Machar remains an active place of worship, nestled among the beautiful cobbled streets of Old Aberdeen and adjacent to Seaton Park – named Scotland’s favourite park after a nationwide vote last year.

Commenting Shona Mutch said: “We are on the lookout for more volunteers to help welcome visitors to this ancient building. It’s a fantastic way to meet new people, learn about the history and work that goes on in the community.

“St Machar’s has a rich and fascinating 1000 year story, but we’re still an active place of Christian worship – open 365 days year.

“Visitor attractions like ours were excited to see the first cruise passengers arrive in Aberdeen’s South Harbour this week, giving a great boost to tourism right across our region. But if this week’s footfall was anything to go by, we’re going to need more volunteers to help satisfy demand.

“Our aim is to make sure that visitors receive a warm welcome – we’ll offer on the job training and have leaflets and prompts about the history and points of interest around the building to help our volunteers gain in confidence and knowledge.

“You’ll be paired up with more experienced volunteers, so it’s very much a team effort to suit however many or few hours you can contribute.”For those who would rather enjoy volunteer outdoors, St Machar’s is also looking for people to help its graveyard gardening team.

Over the last 3 years St Machar’s has been working to improve the biodiversity in the graveyard, planting spring bulbs and flowering plants to encourage insects and make the space more attractive for everyone – winning a Pollinator Friendly award from NatureScot in December 2022.

Prospective volunteers can get in touch with Shona Mutch at treasurer@stmachar.com or call the Cathedral office on 01224 485988.

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