A group of volunteers help out in a food and clothing bank. Julia M Cameron/Pexels
Julia M Cameron/Pexels

Seven ways you can help your local church by volunteering

If you’re looking for ways you can volunteer locally to support your community, why not sign up to volunteer at your local church. Here’s how you can get involved and make a difference


Many churches remain at the heart of the local community. Their buildings are often used not just for worship, but a place for social groups to gather, food banks and warm spaces and for welcoming visitors to the area. To run all these effectively, it takes time and teamwork.

If you’re looking for a place to meet new people, get plugged into your local community and boost your mental health, as well as support a vital cause, then look no further. Here are different ways you can get involved by volunteering with your local church today.


How can you help your local church?

Every church is different, so we recommend looking up your local church to see exactly what they do. You can use our church finder to locate a church near you

How to volunteer – a guide

  • Find your local church. The easiest way to do this is to search for them online and look at their website for what they do and ways to get involved.

  • Make contact. Most churches will have an email address listed on their website. Tell them a little about yourself and what you want to help with. If you can only find a phone number, you can always call and leave them a message!

  • The church will follow up with you. They might also point you in the direction of who to talk to or arrange a meeting. Some volunteering roles may require you to do some training or safeguarding checks, as you may be working closely with vulnerable people or children.

  • Get stuck in.

Seven ways you can help your local church by volunteering

If you’re looking for a place to meet new people, get plugged into your local community and boost your mental health, as well as support a vital cause, then look no further. Here are different ways you can get involved by volunteering with your local church today.

Churches are often set in beautiful grounds, and these are often maintained by volunteers.  There is  something hands-on to do in every season, from planting and weeding to cutting grass and raking. Churches sometimes have allotments as well, where produce is grown for the church and community, often given away in foodbanks


Sadly, with the cost of living crisis, food banks have never been more in demand. The support offered is often a lifeline to the most vulnerable members of the community. From processing donations and making up bags of food to looking after people in need, there are often many ways to volunteer – all which will make a huge difference to people in need.

All old buildings require regular attention and churches are no exception. Volunteers work on all kinds of odd jobs and repair work to ensure they can remain open and safe for the community to use. From painting and decorating to restoration work, there are opportunities to use your skills – or learn new ones – to help preserve these amazing buildings.

Whether it’s someone who’s visited the church for generations to someone coming along for the first time, a friendly face can make all the difference. Having someone on hand to welcome them and to sign post them to what they need means that people can get the help they need from their visit – and they will be more likely to recommend the church to others.

From toddler groups, to exercise classes to support groups for vulnerable members of the community, there’s always lots happening at churches. Most of these groups rely on volunteers to welcome visitors, help with set up and set down, be a listening ear and to get involved in the activities!

Churches often run cafes – open to visitors throughout the week, not just on Sundays! Many of the grants we give out have helped churches install kitchens to enable them to turn their church into a community hub and café – helping to raise funds for the church and creating a space for people to connect. From cooking and baking, to serving or talking to guests, there’s lots you can be involved in.

For churches to stay open and run the range of activities they do, admin and tech support is often needed. This could be managing databases, helping around the office, updating church websites and their social media pages, or even filming or photographing an event the church is hosting.

Ways volunteers are making a difference in UK churches

As part of our annual church awards, we give out a special award each year to volunteers in each nation who are making a difference in their church and community. Here are our recent winners to help give you some inspiration on how, by volunteering at your local church, you’ll be making a vital difference.

England – The Hub at St Peter’s, Herefordshire

The Hub is an inviting space for the local community to meet and socialise. It offers volunteering and training opportunities for local people, as well as wellbeing support and signposting to local services.  Its café serves wholesome and affordable food, and a volunteer-run branch of Herefordshire Libraries operates from its Bell Tower. The Hub relies on volunteers to bake cakes, make soup, serve in their café, help in their library, make friendly phone  calls or run errands for people via their Community Helpline.

Wales – The Outpost at St Paul’s Church, Rhosesmor

With the nearest shop three miles away, the Outpost has become a lifeline  to locals. The shop and cafe are mainly run by its 37 volunteers, who have enabled it to grow into a thriving community hub. It hosts book swaps and an annual scarecrow competition, as well as sourcing from local suppliers, in turn benefiting the local economy. 

Northern Ireland – Immaculate Conception, Strabane

No longer are artefacts hidden or left to gather dust. This amazing church created a museum space that exhibits  the church’s rich and varied heritage collection, as well as others from the local areas. The space is run by volunteers, who welcome visitors and tell them about the displays.

Scotland – St Gregory's Foodbank, Glasgow

St Gregory’s foodbank is located in one of the most deprived areas in Scotland. Yet its community have pulled together to look after one another. The food bank is entirely run by volunteers and helps more than 300 people each week – making sure the most vulnerable in their community have food, cleaning products and personal hygiene items. From serving people to helping with paperwork and admin behind the scenes, there’s lots to get involved in.

You’re up!

Despite networks of volunteers existing all over the UK, more are desperately needed to help protect the value that churches offer their communities. However and wherever you choose to volunteer, you’ll be making a vital difference to the lives of others as well as helping to keep churches open and in use.