Be part of making Big Church happen!
As one of our volunteers (aka BCF heroes) you’ll be super involved with making big church possible. You will be immersed in the day-to-day commitments behind the scenes, whilst also having time off to enjoy yourself and have heaps of festival fun. We would love you to join the team.
Joining us as a volunteer means you are expected you to dive in and get fully involved, working as part of the team with 100% commitment. In return you will receive:
- Free meals per day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) on each day you work – keeping you well-fueled!
- Free access to the event, including one full day off, plenty of time to roam around and lose yourself in the music when you are not working.
- Free ticket to WildFires, following Big Church Festival!
- A free Big Church Team t-shirt for you to wear during the event and keep afterward
- An exclusive Big Church Volunteer bag
- Access to the exclusive Big Church Team camping and hospitality area including some surprise events!
- Free camping in Big Church Volunteer camping area
- Free phone charging facilities to keep your phone juiced up!
- Exclusive volunteer deals and discounts for you to enjoy
- Free shuttle bus from the train station to Wiston House
- The exciting opportunity to make lots of new friends, insight into how an event like Big Church Festival happens, as well as use your gifts and skills, and also developing new ones!
Being a volunteer at Big Church is a chance to get involved and to serve the vision of creating a festival alive with technicolor faith, prepare yourself for a richly rewarding, and fulfilling experience. Applications are now open.
Drivers, loading assistants + supervisors
Trades-person + labourer team
Campsite and Caravan Host Team
Big Church Volunteer Stand in the Expo
Info Point Team
Volunteer as a Group
Retail and Artist Merchandise Team
Team Hub Team
Ticketing and Programme Sales Team
Access and Welfare Team
What skills do I need to volunteer at Big Church Festival?
There are all sorts of roles available. Some require skills and experience and some only require energy and enthusiasm. All Big Church volunteers need a passion for serving, the ability to follow instructions, and the desire to make sure the event runs smoothly. Volunteering for Big Church Festival isn’t just about getting a free pass to the event (although as a volunteer you will get to see a lot of the festival!). We are looking for people who will be committed to working with us to make the event happen.
To see what teams we have available for Big Church Festival 2023 please visit our volunteer page on our website.
How do I apply to volunteer?
We would love to have you volunteer with us! You can find the application guidelines via the login page. If you don’t already have a Big Church Festival account on PAAM, please sign-up.
If you are unable to apply online for any reason, please email Georgia: [email protected]
Do I have to pay to volunteer?
No, you do not, but you will need to provide your card details.
In the past, we’ve had nearly 80 people per year not turn up to take their place volunteering or canceling at the last minute. This cost us more than £5,000 each year and caused a lot of problems on-site, with other volunteers having to work longer hours to fill in the gaps. Big Church Festival is a charity and doesn’t make a profit so this was a huge loss that we needed to eradicate. We also want to be fair to other volunteers and not have to ask them to cover for people who have let us down.
For the last couple of years, we introduced the card policy and only had very few no-shows each year! This not only made the event run smoother but also meant people could have a really enjoyable experience when volunteering.
So again, this year we’re asking everyone to give their card details in order to secure their place to volunteer. Nothing will be charged to your card unless you either don’t show up for the event, cancel last minute (without good reason such as illness or family bereavement) or choose to not complete your shifts.
Obviously, we understand that circumstances do change so if you do choose to cancel your place you won’t be charged unless you cancel within a month of the date you are due to serve, at which point you’ll be charged 25% of a gate price adult weekend ticket. If you cancel within two weeks of the date you’re due to serve you will be charged 50% of a gate price adult weekend ticket and if you cancel the week of the event or do not complete all your shifts on-site, then you’ll be charged the gate price of an adult weekend ticket which is £84.
We will warn you before we charge your card and you will NOT be charged anything when you apply to volunteer with us. Card details will be held securely by the card company and can’t be accessed by our team.
If you have any queries, then please contact us by emailing: [email protected]
When do I need to be available and when am I required to arrive if I’m volunteering at Big Church Festival?
You will be required to work a total of 15 hours between Friday 26th May – Monday 29th May 2023, including at least one shift on Saturday or Sunday. This year we are introducing new shift patterns, meaning you can choose which days you would like to work over the event prior to your arrival.
It’s really important that once you accept a place to volunteer, you keep the days free that you’ve chosen because we’ll be relying on you to ensure the festival runs smoothly. You will need to be on-site and available the NIGHT BEFORE your shift for a team briefing, i.e. if you have a shift on Friday and Saturday then you must be on site for Thursday evening. Please factor this in when choosing your first shift date.
We always allocate you to the days you choose on your form. Should your days need to change we would contact you via email prior to changing them.
How will my shifts be organised?
When applying you are now able to select particular shifts. We will then do our best to allocate you to these particular shifts. However please note that this is first come first served.
We always allocate you to the days and shifts you choose on your form. If we decide we need you to work another day or shift time then we will send you an email asking if you can change days or shifts. Once your shifts have been allocated, we will display this on your overview page on your Big Church Festival profile. These may show up on your profile as early as January but are subject to change until around 1-2 weeks prior to the event.
Shift patterns vary depending on what you selected in the application. The standard shift lengths are either 10 hours or 5 hours.
You are required to arrive on site the night before your first shift so please make sure you have allowed yourself plenty of time for travel.
There will be compulsory online training in the weeks leading up to the event. You will need to take part before you are allowed on-site.
There will also be a role-specific briefing that you will need to attend each day you are working and a group team meeting for all volunteers which you will need to attend at least once prior to your shifts starting.
How and when will I find out if I have been accepted to volunteer?
After you have completed your form and provided us with two references, we will review your form and contact your referee within the next 5 working days. Once we have heard back from them and everything is ok, we will be able to confirm your place.
Please note that the time frame from application submission to acceptance can vary depending on how quickly your referee gets back to us. We encourage you to reach out to them and give them a gentle nudge should the process be taking longer than expected.
Positions are confirmed on a first-come, first-serve basis. We will try our best to give you your first choice but please be aware that this may not always be possible. This would also be the case if your chosen Team is full or we feel you’ll be better suited in another role.
Generally, we only refuse people on the following basis:
- The applicant doesn’t fulfill the criteria in our Terms and Conditions (you can read these when you apply).
- You have previously not turned up or completed shifts in the past without giving a suitable reason.
- Your referee has agreed that it’s unsuitable for you to serve.
- If you apply too late or do not complete your form.
Can I work just one day if I volunteer?
Unfortunately, you must work a minimum of 15 hours over at least two days of the event. One of these days must be an event day (Saturday or Sunday).
Can I work more than two days if I volunteer?
Providing we’re confident that you will be able to cope with working more days, then this is a possibility as we are always in need of extra help! You need to be aware that working at the event is much more tiring than regularly attending the event. This is why if you haven’t worked with us before we may ask you to do a year of volunteering first before we allow you to do more than two days. If you haven’t volunteered before but you have a proven track record in volunteering at events, then we may consider allowing you to serve for more than two days in your first year. Please reach out to us directly if you would like to volunteer more than 15 hours over the weekend by email on [email protected]
How many breaks will I get when I volunteer?
You will get a break for lunch or dinner. Actual timings will vary according to your role but your Team Leader will make sure your breaks are scheduled. If you have any concerns please email [email protected] in advance of the Festival.
Can I serve on more than one team?
To avoid confusion, and to cover all shifts, you will be put on one specific team over the weekend. You’ll be able to select which team when you apply. This also helps you to get to know the volunteers better around you, plus your team leader. Giving you a richer opportunity to make friends. However, there are some teams that are only required on Saturday and Sunday. In order to fulfill your Friday or Monday shifts, which enable you to have a full festival day off, you may be asked to join another team for your shorter shift. This will likely be in a stewarding capacity.
Can I work with a friend?
Yes, we encourage people to apply to volunteer together. Within your application form, you will both need to specify each other in the box provided. It’s also important you make sure to apply at the same time, for the same team, and select the same days, to be in with the best chance of working together. Why not meet up over coffee and go through the process together? We’ll then do all we can to make it happen for you! This is on a first-come, first-served basis.
How much of the event will I see if I’m volunteering?
You will have access to the event when you are not working. Shifts are either 5 hours or 10 hours giving you the rest of the day surrounding the shifts to enjoy the festival. You also have the option to select whether you’d like one full day off over the event. Other than daily briefings and volunteer worship sessions, the rest of the time is yours!
I saw that the long shifts are 10 hours long, can I still volunteer if I am unable to work for this amount of time in one go?
Yes! We completely understand that not everyone is able to work for longer periods of time in one go. Please email [email protected]
What is the minimum age limit to volunteer?
The minimum age limit is 16 years old. If you’re 16 or 17 years old, we will need written permission from your parent, or guardian, before being able to accept your application. Unfortunately, those under 16 are not able to volunteer. However, we have no upper age limit – there is a role for everyone!
Can I volunteer if I live outside the UK?
If you hold any of the following you have the right to volunteer in the UK:
UK, Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man or Channel Islands (Common Travel Area) citizenship
EU/EEA citizenship with Settled or Pre-Settled Status in the UK
A valid Working Holiday Visa
If you hold a different visa or immigration status from those listed above you will need to check if you have the right to volunteer in the UK before applying. You will be asked to declare any restrictions or limitations within your application form.
Unfortunately, we are unable to support volunteer visas, and we are not permitted to write invitation letters to accompany visa applications. For more information regarding visas please visit www.gov.uk.
How long will it take for me to hear whether my application was successful or not?
On average it takes 4-6 weeks from the time of submission, but it may be slightly longer depending on how quickly your referees complete the reference forms. If it has been longer than 6 weeks since you applied we’d recommend reaching out to your referees, and double checking they have received the reference form. You can email [email protected]