Applications sought for new job at Church the costs of which are being covered by the Hogarth Health Club

Chiswick Parish Church has had its prayers answered with an offer by Hogarth Health Club to fund a caretaker. Having someone on site will help the Church deal with the two problems of lack of access for visitors and the increased vandalism at the cemetery.

The Hogarth is behind a variety of other long-term local projects including the renovation of local churchyards, and in this context became aware of the unique value of the old churchyard at Chiswick Parish Church (of St. Nicholas of Myra and Mary Magdalene). Its permanent residents include the eponymous Hogarth, Whistler and Pte Hitch of Rorke's Drift fame. Tourists regularly visit the churchyard to look at these notable tombs, but find they cannot get into the church, which is locked to keep vandals and criminals out.

Resolving this unsatisfactory state of affairs is the latest project of Hogarth's CEO, Patrick White. He has offered to pay for a caretaker for the church, the foundation of which stretches back over a thousand years and which has much to offer visitors. The church are currently receiving applications and if this part time post would interest you, you should submit a CV to the Churchwarden Chris Cundy at ccundy@compuserve.com.

The Hogarth Health Club in Chiswick is one of the largest charitable donors in the area. The Club's principal national charity since it opened in 1983 has been the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, but the Club operates a policy of otherwise giving to purely local charities. This follows the simple logic that the revenues of the business derive exclusively from local people.

The Hogarth started off the funding for the Hogarth Statue in Chiswick High Road, the Millennium project of Chiswick Traders' Association, with a donation of £11,000 in 1999. To this seed capital was attracted further £10,000 donations from Sainsbury's Local and Chiswick Park Unit Trust, among other numerous corporate and personal donations.

Part-time Caretaker required for St Nicholas Church, Chiswick

The objective of hiring a part-time caretaker is to enable the Church to be open to the public more, particularly during the summer months when there are many tourists about. Many people out for a stroll along the river would like to visit the Church but are unable to, as currently it is locked most of the time due to potential vandalism and theft. The Church is already open on Tuesday morning whilst the archivists are working and also on Thursday mornings when the cleaners are present. The plan is to open on other weekdays or Saturdays, either on a morning or afternoon basis or for the whole day.

The church does not currently employ any staff, but has enjoyed a long and supportive relationship with The Hogarth Health Club, a long standing establishment in the Parish. The Club have generously offered to finance the role and to undertake the responsibility of employment. On a day-to-day basis the position reports to the Vicar and Churchwardens.

Person profile
The position would suit a person who has the flexibility to cope with a variable schedule depending on the opening times decided and who has an interest in historical buildings, particularly churches. An ability to show visitors around in a welcoming manner is expected as is the desire and ability to develop a knowledge of the Church to impart to enquiring visitors.

The Caretaker (who will have a designated area to sit in the Church) will be responsible for:

  • Unlocking and locking the Church at the designated times
  • Introducing visitors to guidebooks which they can purchase
  • Explaining the history of the building and churchyard as their knowledge develops over a period of time
  • Keeping alert as to risk of possible theft from the building
  • Passing any messages from visitors to the Vicar or Churchwardens
  • Immediately report any damage to the building or its contents to the Vicar or Churchwardens
  • Calling the emergency services in the event of an incident that necessitates this action (the Caretaker will be provided with a mobile phone for use in emergencies).

These are the core duties. Other activities, possibly including some duties associated with St Denys's Cottage (which the Church uses for meetings) may be added at a later date to make the position more varied and fulfilling.

Start date
As soon as possible.

In the first instance please write (or e-mail: ccundy@compuserve.com) explaining why you feel you are suitable to take up this position to:

Chris Cundy
81 Eastbury Grove
W4 2JT