Guest Services and Events Staff - Whalley Abbey

Posted 13 days agoExpires in 5 days
£12.68 per hour

Are you an experienced and passionate Guest Services or Events manager? Are you driven to provide outstanding levels of hospitality? Have you a track record of maximising revenue by knowing where and how to market beds and meeting facilities? Are you looking to use those skills in a different working environment that provides a better work life balance? Whalley Abbey is an oasis; a still point in the turning world.

Whalley Abbey is the Diocese of Blackburn’s Retreat House with 17 bedrooms, a one bedroom cottage and excellent meeting/conferencing facilities. There is a residential praying/new monastic community that you will be working with. Our clientele range from parishes, church teams and bishops, to business conferences and meetings, to those in need of respite. We use our income to support those who need support.

The successful candidate will be willing to undertake all back office, front of house and housekeeping duties, as necessary. One minute negotiating with corporate clients, the next welcoming guests and showing them to their rooms. Is that you? You will work well in a team and be able to show us how to make best use of our new PMS and Channel Manager software, which you will help to embed. You will maximise our commercial income, whilst also increasing the subsidised retreat use.

The Diocese offers an excellent remuneration package which includes a pension scheme and generous holiday entitlement. There will be weekend working and some evening working. There are 40 hours available across 7 days, largely to be worked between 8:30 to 5:30, so would suit more than one candidate.

We would be pleased to welcome you to our open days for the recruitment of this role and the additional role of chef (separately advertised)


1ST MAY 10am-2pm, 5TH MAY 4-7pm

Duty Management

  • Onsite responsibility during the Directors off duty and absence for all operational matters including guest experience, health & safety and security of the building and premises.
  • To assist in the management of all volunteers and sessional staff this to include operational day to day management plus scheduling, training and staff communications.
  • Management and oversight of specific Whalley Abbey functions/events as delegated by the Director.
  • As part of the core team needs to be able to contribute proactively towards the key result area`s and Vision of the Abbey.


  • Manage Bookings and communications via travel agents.
  • Greet and welcome guests upon arrival. Check-in guests onto the system, verifying reservation, address, and credit information.
  • Ensure all customers establish credit upon check-in. Improve timeliness of cash flow by adhering to all established credit and inventory control procedures.
  • Verify all information on reservations check-in; name, address, method of payment, etc.
  • Assist guests with luggage upon their arrival and departure.
  • Promptly respond to and resolve guest complaints.
  • Be knowledgeable and helpful about the local area, the Whalley Abbey and all services on offer.
  • Complete shift closing accurately by getting appropriate approval signatures and authorisation codes.
  • Maintain and run the coffee station, bar and shop effectively in line with current policy.
  • Follow all applicable Whalley Abbey Standard Operating Procedures.
  • Maintain a well-groomed, professional appearance at all times in work.

Selling activities

  • Negotiate room rates in line with the Abbey`s commercial rules with online agencies.
  • Increase revenues by offering customers upgraded packages and promoting Whalley Abbey amenities and outlets.
  • Achieve optimum utilisation of room availability and to maximise selling of rooms.
  • Identify key clients and set proactive strategies to engage and optimise revenue in conjunction with proactive sales team.
  • Produce quotations specifically addressing event requirements and maximising opportunities.
  • Effectively manage Event and Bookings Diary to optimise revenue
  • Remain aware of business demand, peaks and troughs to achieve optimum yield
  • Champion a customer-focused ethos through actively seeking customer feedback and ensuring follow-up action taken
  • Monitor and identify shortfalls against targets and implement effective remedial strategies


  • Contribute to an up to date live, vigorous data base to facilitate room and meetings/events sales.
  • Ensure that information used to promote the Abbey is up-to-date and accurate including amending website and social media.
  • Utilise and help to contribute to the Abbey’s systems to achieve effective management of enquiry process to conversion, communication to team mates, invoicing and payment.
  • Operate a strict pre-payment and post event invoicing procedure to optimise revenues.
  • Ensure an effective post event follow up process is in place to optimise future revenues
  • Effectively manage and monitor agency commission process
  • Provide timely accurate reports on activities and achievements.

Business activities

  • Remain aware of the market and competitors performance
  • Maintain a high standard of personal presentation.
  • Liaise with other members of the Abbey, paid and volunteer, to actively promote opportunities, exchange information and increase professionalism
  • Take responsibility for the implementation of initiatives within own sphere of duties
  • Undertake any other duties which are consistent with the basic objectives and or/ duties of the post.


  • Line Management
  • Assist with management of volunteers and sessional staff.
  • Plan and organize staffing levels for events and business as usual.
  • Performance Management
  • Participate in regular meetings with Line Manager - at least once per month.
  • Assist with induction training, on the job training of new members of staff, and apprentices.


  • Participate in training sessions as required and identify training needs which will benefit the provision of your department.
  • Team Working
  • Consciously contribute to effective team working at the management and team levels and encourage colleagues to behave likewise.

Service Quality

  • Guest/Customer Satisfaction
  • Constantly focus on the satisfaction of the Guest as our main purpose and encourage staff to follow prompt.
  • Monitor customer satisfaction by communicating pro-actively with guests and staff, review customer feedback with your Line Manager and follow through on delegated action steps to address any shortfalls. Coordinate all ‘Whalley Abbey impact Survey’ responses, responding to them, and forwarding them to the relevant staff and volunteers, as required by policy


  • Contribute to the production of the budget in terms of revenue targets.
  • Maintain all budget control procedures.
  • Ensure that all Team Colleagues are aware of the current and projected performance figures and have clear reasons for why they are positive or negative.

Environment, Health & Safety and Security

  • Follow carefully the Whalley Abbey standards on being environmentally friendly
  • Ensure safe working practices in accordance with the correct policy and procedure
  • Report all H&S issues and refurbishment requirements in all areas of the Abbey to the Director and follow up on it
  • Fully understand the safety procedures of the Abbey and assist to ensure the safe evacuation of guests and staff
  • Attend all Health and Safety training as instructed by the Director
  • Monitor the security of the site including the use of CCTV system.

Lone / Night Work

  • Pay particular attention to the security of the building, including the courtyard site and guests when working alone. Only leave reception for a maximum of 15 minutes at a time. Carry the Duty mobile with you at all times and monitor incoming emails to the security email account.
  • Carry out and record four security patrols of the entire site (including the Abbey ruins) throughout shift. At night - lock all doors and windows / turn off lights where appropriate.
  • Carry out and record ‘means of escape’ fire checks, and record them in the fire log book every Friday evening.

See attached document for full job description and person specification

For further information about Blackburn Diocese click here

For further information or an informal chat regarding the role please contact the Director for Whalley Abbey Revd Adam Thomas at

Interview date: 27th May 1-5pm