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Secretary General and General Synod Assistant

Please Note: The application deadline for this post has now passed.


This is an exciting opportunity to work at the heart of the Church of England’s offices for the Secretary General of the Archbishops’ Council and the General Synod.  In this role you will play a significant part in the day to day running of the Secretary General’s office, working closely with the Private Secretary to maintain peak efficiency. You will also work with the General Synod team, organising national meetings and liaising with Synod members.

To thrive in this role, the post-holder will be an excellent communicator with advanced IT skills, as well as possessing the initiative to prioritise a constantly varying workload. This role requires working with the utmost confidentiality and dealing sensitively with a large amount of discreet engagements by telephone, email and in person.

First stage interviews will be held on the 7th December 2017.

Second stage interviews will be held w/c 11th December 2017

Post Introduction

The Secretary General is the CEO of the Archbishops’ Council charity (Secretary General of the Archbishops’ Council, Secretary to the General Synod and Secretary to the House of Bishops). He is ‘primus inter pares’ among the Chief Officers of the NCIs. He supports the Archbishops, Bishops, General Synod and all the arms of the Church in furthering its mission. The Secretary General has particular responsibility for supporting the Archbishops and Bishops in the work of Renewal and Reform, a body of work designed to enable the Church of England once again, to become a hopeful and growing Church in every region and every generation in England.

The General Synod of the Church of England is the legislative body of the Church of England, made up of three houses – The House of Bishops, Clergy and Laity. The General Synod meets in London in February (and if necessary in November), and in York in July. The legislation it passes becomes part of UK law and is subject to Parliamentary Approval and Royal Assent.

Role Responsibility

Specific to the Secretary General:

  • Using Outlook to manage the Secretary General’s diary, in liaison with the Private Secretary. This will include setting up usual one-to-one meetings with senior staff as well as larger meetings of bishops and senior leaders inside and outside of the Church with busy diaries.
  • Assisting with correspondence, e.g. opening mail addressed to the Secretary General, finding relevant related correspondence, distributing to key senior staff, drafting letters and responses from the Secretary General.
  • With the Private Secretary, collating briefing documents for the Secretary General’s meetings.
  • Maintenance of the electronic National Church Institutions (NCIs) calendar.

Specific to General Synod:

  • Arrange and manage all mailings to the General Synod and ensure the database and all other records are updated on a regular basis
  • Assisting the Synod Support Team in the practical arrangements for, and administration of, meetings of the General Synod. In particular the booking of accommodation and meals for the York Group of Sessions in July and in the maintenance of all the records.
  • Be the liaison with the wider Synod Support Team both during and in the run up to meetings of the General Synod.
  • Dealing with incoming and outgoing invoices on behalf of General Synod including the process of charging out costs to dioceses and other organisations.
  • Attending the General Synod in York and London, assisting in their operation and attending any other meetings as required.
  • Managing the Synod Office mailbox, in conjunction with the Executive Officer (Bishops).
  • Maintaining the General Synod webpages on the Church of England website.


  • Making practical arrangements for meetings, including booking rooms/accommodation and ordering refreshments.
  • Word processing of correspondence, committee papers, reports etc. from audio and manuscript. Maintaining, reviewing and developing paper and electronic filing systems and ensuring the safe and secure storage of confidential material.
  • Researching or retrieving and assembling discrete areas of information using the internet, Synod documents, publications, or other databases as appropriate.
  • Making the best use of IT and other resources, and in particular maintaining Access databases, Excel spreadsheets, CRM and SharePoint.
  • Ordering stationery on behalf of the wider Secretariat (Central Secretariat and Council for Christian Unity).
  • Extensive communication with staff, General Synod, Archbishops’ Council and committees and members of Government, secular, and voluntary agencies.
  • Dealing sensitively with, and with initiative, a considerable amount of discrete engagement by telephone, email and correspondence, especially when dealing with matters of confidentiality.
  • Some note-taking at meetings.
  • Any other duties that may arise within the division or NCIs as required.
  • Providing cover for the Private Secretary and Head of Events during any absence or annual leave.

The Ideal Candidate



  • Fast, accurate and well-presented typing and audio skills with a carefully ordered approach.
  • Ability to prioritise and meet deadlines.
  • Ability to work under pressure using own initiative and ability to work unsupervised.
  • Sensitivity and good judgement when dealing with urgent and complex matters.
  • Ability to communicate clearly, both orally and in writing.
  • Ability to get on with people easily and to work as a team with them.
  • Excellent IT skills, including demonstrable experience of Microsoft Word, Outlook (Calendar and e-mail), PowerPoint, Access and Excel.
  • Attention to detail.


  • Office experience, demonstrating the knowledge and skills (especially word processing) required to afford full secretarial support of the kind outlined above.

Personal Attributes:

  • Professional and well organised.
  • A confident, proactive and able to demonstrate initiative.
  • Ability to maintain focus to complete tasks under pressure.
  • Receptiveness to new ideas and flexible approach to work.
  • Sense of responsibility that any work produced is of a suitably high standard.
  • In sympathy with the aims and ethos of the Church of England.


  • Understanding of budget sheets and invoicing.
  • An understanding of the workings of the National Church Institutions or a willingness and ability to learn rapidly about them.
  • Experience of servicing member-led bodies.

About Us

We in the National Church Institutions support the mission and ministries of the Church all over England. We work with parishes, dioceses (regional offices), schools, other ministries and our partners at a national and international level.

Excellence, Respect, Integrity

We follow these three values in everything we do, whether we are of Christian faith, another faith or no faith.

Benefits- We offer a competitive salary package, a flexible* 35-hour working week for work-life balance and a minimum 25 days holiday plus 3 defined organisational days leave and an attractive defined pension scheme.

We are committed to building a culturally diverse workforce and strongly encourage applications from underrepresented groups. We are committed to equality of opportunity and welcome applications from people, regardless of their background.

*Where applicable depending on post requirements.

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