Tens of thousands of visitors flock into Holycross every year, mostly to sample the variety of religious experiences on offer at the wonderful Abbey. While spiritual needs are well-catered for, treatment of tourists can be perfunctory. Many disappear from the village before they have had a chance to sample what is on offer. Holycross Community Network was set up in 2011 to try to improve the experiences of tourists in the village, and at the same time to bring a bit more business to the area.
One target is to set up a Guiding Service, and a programme is being prepared which will give training to anyone interested in helping. The plan is that from 2013 guides will be paid. Initial training will focus on giving guides an understanding of the Abbey as both an historical site and a centre of religious devotion, as well as the development of the village of Holycross. Training will be given in the practical aspects of managing a tour group, and also the more personal issues of presentation skills, effective communication, voice projection and practical; on-site guiding.
Ten sessions of two hours are planned, with a preliminary meeting for anyone interested on 24th April in Holycross Community Hall, at 8.00pm. The training should be complete by early June, followed by some set days between June and September when tourists will be invited to test run the new system, so we can iron out glitches and get the fully operational service up and running from Easter 2013.
Tour guiding might suit local people, retired or setting out on their careers. It would be good too make use of the vast array of local knowledge about the village and Abbey. Students looking for a holiday job might find guiding experience (and perhaps eventually a qualification) to be a useful addition to their c.v., and some part time work would be welcome to many in these hard economic times.
If you are interested in becoming a guide, please contact Denise on 086-8808709.