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Opportunity to Tender for Youth Outreach Initiatives

January 31, 2024  Posted in: Community, News

About the Cathedral

Saint Patrick’s Cathedral has been at the centre of our history and culture for over 800 years. Dating from the Thirteenth Century and built in honour of Ireland’s patron saint, Saint Patrick’s is the National Cathedral of the Church of Ireland and is also one of Ireland’s most popular tourist attractions.

Current and Former Youth Programmes

The Cathedral runs various programmes for children, including choristerships (through the Music Department and Choir School) and school/family tours and workshops (through the Education Department). As a tourist attraction, we also welcome a large number of visiting schools and youth services from across Ireland and the world.

The chorister programme is a long-term and sustained initiative for children from Third Class up to Sixth Year. These children all live locally and their families choose to send them to the Cathedral Choir School and Grammar School for the duration of their first- and second-level education. The choristers sing two services every day during term time and in return receive world-class music tuition.

The Cathedral Education Department runs a free education programme, which offers a wide range of themed tours, workshops, and activities to Irish school groups and families. These schools, which are usually located near the Cathedral, bring a year group or class, and attend for a maximum of two hours. It would be unusual for schools to bring the same students on more than one occasion.

Before the pandemic, the Cathedral also operated a ‘Guild of Service’. The members of this Guild were primarily former boy choristers – now teenagers whose voices had broken – and continued offering their free time to the Cathedral for its services. Since COVID, this has been dormant.

Opportunity for Further Engagement

The Music Department programmes run high-level and sustained activities for a small number of children; the Education Department presently runs short-term brief activities for a large number of children.

The Education Department is now looking to build engagement somewhere in the middle of these two activities which, we hope, will grow a fellowship of younger people within the Cathedral community through a regular youth-driven initiative, using the Cathedral as a home. In so doing, this new activity group might feed into the existing and/or dormant initiatives; however, this is not an expectation.

This opportunity is seen as the Cathedral’s duty or responsibility to offer something to the young people in Dublin and, more specifically, the Dublin 8 and 7 areas. Although we hope that the young people involved in the new programme might choose to explore other opportunities on offer within the Cathedral, these young people would become an established part of our friendly Cathedral community in and of themselves.

The age range encompassing 11–18 has been identified as a particular target group for further engagement. These ages are not exclusive and we would hope that young people around these ages would also be welcomed. It would be worth noting that the Cathedral’s ideas overleaf for possible further youth engagement activities are only provisional ideas, and we would certainly be interested in hearing from enthusiastic and qualified people with specific interests outside of this brief.

The Cathedral is a large heritage building with the space and gravitas to host significant local, national, and international events. To many in the Dublin 8 area, the Cathedral is a space that they may never have explored and this initiative should help to break down these barriers.
Suggested Concepts

From internal discussions, the following list of ideas has been developed for regular and sustained activities using the Cathedral as a home. This list is not exhaustive and should other youth engagement ideas be presented, we would be delighted to hear about them.

Through all of these suggestions, the Cathedral aims to serve a real need in the community. We want to facilitate an offering that young people want, rather than what we think they want. Therefore any submissions should be able to demonstrate a desire – or at least a gap-in-the-market – for young people within a commutable distance of the Cathedral.

Most importantly, we hope that any Youth Engagement project will offer an inclusive and safe sense of community for the young people involved, as well as a fulfilling mission-driven opportunity for the personnel involved.

• Drama productions
• Music programme (outside the remit of present Music Department activities)
• Textiles and crafts
• Minority / diversity representation
• Support groups
• Citizenship / participation
• Entrepreneurship
• Traditional church youth group / religious education

Though the activity need not be primarily religious in nature, any proposed activity would need to be in line with the Cathedral’s mission and purpose. Furthermore, there are restrictions on space available: the Cathedral is a busy venue, hosting a variety of events throughout the year. Though we are keen to offer the main Cathedral space, we are presently very limited on other available venues on site. We may be able to develop links with local schools for smaller venues. By 2025, we hope to complete the development of the Cathedral Mews project (an education and community space).

Budget & Timeline

All proposals must be presented with a budget totalling no more than €8,000 – €10,000.

It is hoped that the project will be up and running during this calendar year; however, there is flexibility in terms of development and recruitment time. The proposed budget should cover this calendar year only.

Roles, Ownership & Management

The Cathedral stands ready to support the chosen project in a variety of ways. Though this will be a ‘Cathedral-owned’ initiative, the project could be operated by contracted personnel with varying degrees of involvement from Cathedral staff.

However, at all times, the initiative will be managed by the Education & Safeguarding Officer on behalf of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. The project will form a part of the Education Department; other key relationships will include the Schools Officer, Community Officer, and Cathedral Manager. The Cathedral will retain ownership of all rights to the products of the initiative and oversight will be provided by the Dean and Board of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. All major decisions in terms of operations and delivery must be agreed with the Education & Safeguarding Officer.
All personnel working for or on behalf of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral will be required to complete satisfactorily a Garda Vetting check and undergo introductory safeguarding training provided by the Cathedral.

It is envisaged that personnel will be freelance and responsible for their own tax compliance.

Pre-Existing Groups

As a local space as well as an international space, we would be interested in hearing from extant local initiatives looking for a home. The Community Officer (presently vacant and recruiting) works with a number of these organisations and – on behalf of the Cathedral – enables them through financial support, networking opportunities, and administrative aid.

However, submissions for this project should be new or fledgling ideas, which would be run through the Cathedral, not just in it. We would be keen to work in partnership with existing organisations on new projects.


In advance of the deadline of Thursday 29th February 2024 at 17:00, please provide the following information:

• A step-by-step proposal, detailing how the project will be started and recruit interested young people.
• A timeline, with stated aims and outcomes, and desirable achievements.
• A summary of key personnel who would work on the project (including the applicant, if appropriate).
• A summary budget.
• If possible, examples of similar projects working successfully elsewhere.

This information – and anything else relevant – can be provided in any suitable format. Completed submissions should be emailed to Clark Brydon (Education & Safeguarding Officer): education@stpatrickscathedral.ie

Meetings may be held in advance of the closing date. Informal discussions may take place by calling the Education & Safeguarding Officer in advance of submission: 01 453 9472.

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