Accountant - Parish Services

This job has now expired
Fixed Term Full Time

Birmingham is the UK’s second city with the youngest urban population in one of the most lively and diverse regions. The Church of England Birmingham diocese, founded in 1905, is one of 41 dioceses in England. It covers an area of nearly 300 square miles, and includes parishes in the West Midlands including Birmingham and parts of Solihull, Sandwell, Warwickshire and Worcestershire.

Right at the heart of what we do there are over 187 Church of England places of worship with an average weekly attendance of 17,000 from a population of 1.5 million. In these churches are clergy and church-goers representing a wide scope of Church tradition and breadth of ethnicity.

At the start of 2019, the diocese was offered a substantial grant by the Church Commissioners to support a new phase of its major mission initiative, known as Transforming Church. In this next phase of Transforming Church, the diocese aims to build on the vital work done so that the good news of Jesus Christ can take root at a deeper level and that the gifts of more people, both ordained and lay, can be released.

In order to release these gifts in our parishes, we need to remove potential barriers to mission. Thriving parishes have amongst other features, good quality and timely financial information for decision making purposes. We want this for all our parishes, so they can feel unencumbered by the fear of finance and release scarce resources to engage in intentional mission for growing churches at the heart of each community.

This is a new, exciting post for an accountant as part of the Parish Services and Outsourcing team to help shape and deliver a financial management service to our parishes.

The key purpose of the Parish Services Accountant role is to support Parochial Church Councils (PCCs) in discharging their financial management responsibilities:

  • Keeping ‘proper accounting records’, which must be sufficient to show and explain all the PCC’s transactions;
  • Ensuring that the finances of the PCC are under its control;
  • Preparing annual accounts (financial statements) and the financial aspect of the Trustees’ Annual Report which shall be presented to the Annual Parochial Meeting in accordance with the Church Representation Rules.

The role-holder must have a strong blend of professional and administrative qualities, particularly the ability to work constructively and communicate clearly with a wide range of stakeholders, including clergy, churchwardens and other volunteers.

The post-holder will be part of the established Parish Services & Outsourcing team within the Diocesan Finance team. They will report to the Finance Manager - Parish Services & Outsourcing.

Working with the Finance Manager - Parish Services & Outsourcing, the post holder will be responsible for the day to day delivery of an accounting service to our participating parishes:

  • Working with the Finance Manager - Parish Services & Outsourcing in the development and implementation of the new parish finance service
  • Preparation of the monthly financial reports for participating parishes for review by Finance Manager - Parish Services & Outsourcing
  • Preparation of the monthly narrative commentary for the financial reports for review by Finance Manager - Parish Services & Outsourcing
  • Facilitate a monthly “catch up” with participating parishes to discuss the narrative report and financial reporting and guide them on key financial issues to focus on in PCC meetings
  • First point of contact for participating parishes
  • Help to facilitate annual budget planning within the participating parishes
  • Attendance at PCC meetings as required – many of these will be in evenings (limited to two evening meetings per participating parish)
  • Provide support to the Finance Manager - Parish Services & Outsourcing in connection with parish finance support projects, including best practice pointers and seminars for participating parishes

· AAT qualified or equivalent experience

· Experience of dealing with charities and fund accounting

· Highly organized, focused and self-motivated

· Ability to prioritize tasks to meet deadlines

· Experience of developing processes to enhance efficiency and effectiveness

· Methodical approach with attention to detail to ensure accuracy of postings

· Team player in essentially a small team and willing to lend a hand where needed

· “Can do “attitude

· Approachable style and manner

· Customer focused

· Excellent communication skills both written and verbal

· Ability to talk about finance matters to non-financial people

· Highly IT literate, with good excel skills

· In sympathy with the ministry and mission of the Church of England


This is a full-time post: 35 hours per week for a fixed term of 5 years (subject to funding)

Salary: £23,000

Pension: Membership of the Church Workers Pension scheme with 12% employer contributions

Holidays: 25 days per year and Bank Holidays, plus 3 additional Diocesan Discretionary Days

The post holder will report to the Finance Manager- Parish Services & Outsourcing

The employer is the BDBF (Birmingham Diocesan Board of Finance)

Closing Date for Applications: 22nd September

Interviews to be held on 10th October at our offices at 1 Colmore Row, Birmingham, B3 2BJ.