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Diocesan Office, Old Alresford Place, Old Alresford

The purpose of the role of Personal Assistant is to support and enable the Bishop to carry out her purpose. It is essential that the post holder is committed to working closely with the Bishop, anticipating the requirement for support, representing her views when necessary and able to appropriately challenge and be a confidant. This is achieved by ensuring that her time is used to best effect by proactively undertaking a range of personal assistant tasks. To be effective in the role, the Personal Assistant will need to apply an excellent standard of organisational and communication skills and a high level of self-motivation, commitment and emotional intelligence.

  • Develop and maintain an understanding of the priorities, goals and objectives of the Bishop and how they relate to the Diocesan Strategic Priorities.
  • Be the first point of contact for those engaging with the Bishop; ensure that, when appropriate, enquiries are directed to the appropriate department. This will require the post holder to develop a detailed knowledge of the range of work and priorities across all departments. Handle enquires promptly and professionally.
  • Develop and maintain effective and efficient administrative operating processes, paying attention to any existing protocols or policies. In particular, establish and maintain effective and efficient systems of work-flow management to ensure excellent responses to enquiries and monitoring of work in progress. Develop and maintain the Bishop’s area of the electronic archiving and data management system ensuring that information is effectively stored and accessible.
  • Manage the Bishop’s appointments diary and schedule, ensuring that appointments are in line with the Bishop’s priorities; produce day files; produce bullet summaries of papers sent to the Bishop and where appropriate provide briefings. In particular it is important to ensure that the Bishop is accessible whilst carefully managing her time. Information for the day file and briefings must be compiled quickly, be succinct and properly researched – accuracy of information is of paramount importance. For engagements that require the Bishop to attend in the evening or weekend the PA should ensure alignment with work and personal diaries.
  • Organise travel and prepare (sometimes complex) travel itineraries both UK and overseas. Consider how the Bishop’s time might be maximised whilst travelling. For instance, ensure she has documents available to her, she has access to internet and that however complex, her travel arrangements can be changed as necessary. Be prepared on occasions to travel with the Bishop to make maximum use of the time available including occasional overnight trips.
  • Plan, organise and manage meetings including preparation of papers, presentations and writing minutes or meeting notes.
  • Read, monitor and respond to enquiries and correspondence sent to the Bishop (responsibility remit to be agreed with the Bishop). Take initiatives in the absence of the Bishop to avoid delay in response to correspondence and/or enquires.
  • Manage the coordination of the appraisal and development process (known as Pastoral Consultation) which includes managing the process in line with policy, scheduling meetings, preparing papers and ensuring the process is properly concluded.
  • Manage the Bishop’s delegated budget, ensure that the budget is maintained weekly and that sufficient information is available on request. Provide formal quarterly returns.
  • Ensure that the Bishop’s mobile IT facilities are effective and efficient. Keep abreast of the latest technology and technological changes and quickly master new technology.
  • Proactively build and nurture working relationships with colleagues and teams within the various offices; in particular to ensure a good working relationship with other PA’s and executive officers. Work in close association with the Diocesan Bishop’s Office, the Bishop of Basingstoke’s Office, the Chief Executives PA, the Archdeacon’s Office and colleagues in the Diocesan Office.
  • Promptly and confidentially relay health related information (clergy are required to inform the Bishop’s Office when they are unwell) to the Bishop and the Head of Human Resources, so that the appropriate support can be mobilised.
  • Work in collaboration with the Clergy Appointments Assistant on all matters relating to the recruitment of clergy (known as the Vacancy Process).
  • Assist, when appropriate, with the planning, coordinating and organising of projects. Plan, organise and manage occasional events including assisting with hospitality.
  • Work closely with the Communications Team to ensure they are aware in advance of positive events and good news stories appropriate for wider circulation.
  • Ensure the relevant pages/sections of the Diocesan Website are kept up to date. Keep abreast of other modern communication means such as social media.
  • Exceptionally confidential and discreet and able to handle sensitive information. Some information can be of a distressing nature and it is essential that the PA has developed mechanisms for dealing with such information.
  • A problem solver, able to comprehend complex situations and determine an appropriate course of action. Able to determine when to use own initiative and when to seek advice.
  • Able to develop an understanding and represent the views of the Bishop.
  • Willing to appropriately challenge and offer a view.
  • A demonstrable team player with a collaborative working style.
  • Able to relate well at all levels, build relationships and be a clear and confident communicator.
  • Able to remain calm under pressure and remain focused, flexible in attitude.
  • A self-motivated individual who is able and willing to take responsibility, use initiative and work without instruction when necessary.
  • Able to be persistent and assertive when necessary yet remain cordial and amenable.
  • Proactive and solution orientated.

Education and Qualifications

  • Graduate or equivalent level of education is desirable, ideally educated to degree level in Business Administration, English or Management.
  • Evidence of relevant continuing learning and development.
  • It will be a requirement of the appointment that Safeguarding Training – C1, C3, Domestic Abuse and Safer Recruitment training is completed along with GDPR training within the probation period.


  • Excellent IT skills and ability, with detailed experience of utilising all standard Microsoft Office packages, and the interest and ability to expand knowledge and use of other software packages.
  • Good research skills, very good writing skills and an excellent standard of written English.
  • Excellent attention to detail.
  • Able to manage own time exceptionally well, plan and prioritise workloads.
  • Have demonstrable organisational skills, able to create processes as well as work with process.
  • Able to work with figures and manage basic budget information.
  • Driving licence, access to own transport.

The Bishop of Southampton leads the strategic mission and provides episcopal oversight within the Archdeaconry of Bournemouth under the guidance, authority and delegation of the Diocesan Bishop. The role embraces oversight of the Christian community in its worship, teaching, pastoral care and outreach. The Diocese of Winchester is moving towards being mission shaped in every dimension and at every level.

The Bishop of Southampton works collegially with colleagues, lay and ordained, to build up the life and mission of the Christian community entrusted to her care. She serves all the baptised; and seeks to ensure that the life of the Church is focused on mission priorities discerned by the Diocesan Bishop in consultation with ecclesial, civic and ecumenical partners. Her ministry is set within, and seeks to enable the delivery of Diocesan Strategic Priorities.