Docents – the What, Why and How…….


A lecturer or tour guide in a museum or cathedral is traditionally called a docent.  At HCSCC, a docent is someone who is willing to help out with The SJB exhibit “Illuminating the Word”.  You pick volunteering in a way that is comfortable and time appropriate.  These duties can include:

  • Being a monitor in the exhibition space
  • Guiding small groups through the exhibition when required
  • Answering questions about the exhibit
  • Helping at “Illuminating the Word” events
  • Doing public talks on The SJB and the “Illuminating the Word” exhibit
  • Helping out with activities during the exhibition time – especially on weekends


There are many reasons for having docents.  These include:

  • Exhibition information for those unprepared for the experience
  • Education
  • Expanding the volunteer pool at HCSCC with those who have received extra training on The SJB
  • Crowd control and security within the exhibition space
  • Tour guide and sharing information
  • Being a friendly face


Docents need to have some familiarity with the exhibit.  To this end, we will be providing free training to volunteers.  The time commitment for training is a minimum of 3 hours.  There are some on-line and document resources for self-study too.  Tim Ternes will be delivering exhibition specific training right before we open to help us all be familiar with the do’s and don’ts of working with the public around the bible cases but there is pre-training to this opportunity. 

Here is where you can sign up for the classes and training before the exhibit.  These classes are relaxed

When can I docent

We need 112 hours of docent coverage each week of the exhibit.  A shift will be 4 hours and you are asked to remain for the full four hours or work with your own Docent Buddy to cover a shift.  You can take as many slots as you like with the knowledge that they are yours to be managed and filled. 

At all times we have to have people in the exhibition space.  A timetable of docent slots will be published in September and people are asked to sign up.  If you cannot make a slot, communication to others is vital.  Docents are asked to find their own replacements from the docent pool. 

We will use an Electronic texting service called RemindMe to share info for all docents.  Each day the following day’s schedule will be communicated.  Each Sunday, a full list of the upcoming docent calendar will be emailed out to all docents. We like no surprises, too.  

So after doing the training, docents will be able to schedule themselves for docent slots and jobs.  Here are the sign-up slots:

October Blue Schedule

November  Purple Schedule

December Red Schedule


Anyone can be a docent.  We ask that they be over 16 years of age.  If you are comfortable working with strangers, answering questions, finding answers and/or talking in front of groups, you can be a docent.  If you like working with kids, let us know as we will be having some public art events with the focus on children participating. We will try to meet your preferences as far as possible. There will be plenty of opportunities to do as much or as little as you like to help make “Illuminating the Word” a success at HCSCC.  But we need you! 

What is the benefit for the docent?

This is a volunteer opportunity with benefits.  For those who sign up and commit to volunteering 24 hours over the 3 months of the project, your name will be included in a drawing for an SJB print.  Also, you will be given a discount card that allows you to visit the exhibit at any other time for a discounted rate and a 5% discount in the gift shop. 

If you sign up and docent for at least 48 hours (one shift a week for the 12 week exhibit run) you will be included in a drawing for a free calligraphy class with Anne Kaese, have free access to the exhibit at any time and enjoy a 10% discount at the gift shop. 

If you sign up and docent for more than 72 hours you get a free membership for a year.

If a group signs up for a regular commitment – a church group takes every Monday afternoon, an art group takes every other Saturday morning, etc – we would ask that one person be the leader and the communicator to that group.  That group sign up for a minimum of 12 sessions would entitle that group to an “Evening with the SJB” function where the larger congregation or membership can attend the exhibit for a 20% discount on the exhibit entrance at that event and 10% at the gift shop too.  This will be held Wednesday nights for church groups.  

Join us!  Click here to get signed up!