Archbishop of Canterbury’s Adviser on Public Affairs

This job has now expired
Lambeth Palace, London
Fixed Term Full Time
£44,298 rising to £49,113 after probation

Lambeth Palace is a unique building of significant historical and global provenance. It is, first and foremost, the home of the Archbishop of Canterbury and his family, as well as home to a wider, diverse and thriving, residential community. It is also an office and the the heart of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s ministry to the Church of England and the global Anglican Communion. It is a Grade I listed building comprising various listed buildings dating from the 12th to the 20th centuries, set within 10 acres of beautiful landscaped gardens. Fundamentally, the Palace seeks to be a place of contribution to the life of a 21st century church.

In support of the Archbishop’s ministry, the office at Lambeth Palace is made up of several interconnected teams – Anglican Communion, Chaplaincy, Ecumenical, Evangelism & Witness, Inter-Religious, Public Affairs, Reconciliation and Support Services (Communications, Correspondence, Events, Facilities, Finance and Records), each providing pivotal, interdependent and essential support to the Archbishop to enable the effective delivery of the ministry to which he has been called by God.

Lambeth Palace is an exciting and vibrant ‘community of communities’. Working here gives an excellent and opportunity of contributing to the ministry of an internationally significant religious leader in a friendly, busy, fast-paced and dynamic office. The team at Lambeth Palace works collaboratively with colleagues throughout the National Church Institutions (NCIs) and beyond and supports each other at busy periods with flexibility and good humour.

This is a unique and pivotal role in the Archbishop’s staff team managing the Archbishop’s work in the public sphere and representing his views to key stakeholders across Whitehall and beyond.

As the Archbishop’s Adviser on Public Affairs, you will be responsible for the Archbishop’s engagement in public affairs and carry day-to-day representative responsibility for those aspects of the Archbishop’s role and ministry which touch on public policy, civil society, government and ‘church and state’ issues.

The portfolio covers a wide and fascinating range of topics, from the Archbishop’s role in Church-state relations to his witness on issues of social justice. The work is set in the context of the three priority areas of Archbishop Justin’s ministry, the three Quinquennium goals of the Church of England, and the five marks of mission of the Anglican Communion. Policy and research on these areas are carried out by the Mission and Public Affairs (MPA) department at Church House, so a crucial aspect of the role is coordination with colleagues and stakeholders.

Reporting to the Chief of Staff and Strategy, you will manage specific relationships across Whitehall and coordinate international relations across the senior team at Lambeth Palace.

To be successful, you will need experience at a decision-making level in public policy or a related field and of successfully delivering projects, drafting complex policy briefs/speeches and an understanding of political processes and structures. With excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to respond swiftly to a challenge, you will quickly earn the respect of senior figures and confidently represent the views of the Archbishop on key policy areas.

This is a fixed term contract expected to last for 9 months, with the possibility of extension.

Interviews will be held on the 7th October 2019.

In return we offer a unique environment with opportunities for continuous learning, generous annual leave for work life balance, season ticket loans and a range of benefits including discounted entry to attractions and what we feel is a market leading package when it comes to our pension scheme.

​The Role:

1. In relation to those areas for which s/he has lead responsibility.

  • Work with colleagues in MPA, including the Parliamentary Unit, and in the Education Division to ensure that the Archbishop is appropriately advised on key developments in government policy and legislation.
  • Act as the Archbishop’s point of contact for Whitehall departments and government ministers, developing a deep understanding of his views and representing them to ensure his access and ability to bring influence to bear on matters of public policy.
  • Represent the Archbishop at relevant external events and meetings.

2. Help plan and deliver the Archbishop’s contributions on social and public issues.

  • Develop briefing material to support the Archbishop's engagement in the public arena, and material for press and web.
  • Draft speeches, notes and preparatory material for the Archbishop’s use at public affairs events.
  • Develop new projects that enable the Archbishop to address his own priorities in his ministry.

3. Instigate, organise and staff private meetings, public events and social occasions for the Archbishop at Lambeth Palace and around the country in relation to his social & public affairs priorities.

4. Oversee and advise on the Archbishop’s charitable patronages, ensuring they are aligned with his priorities; maintain high-level relationships with patronage organisations, as appropriate.

5. Collaborate with and advise colleagues at Lambeth Palace on the social & public affairs-related risks and benefits of events, projects and interventions in their areas.

6. Have particular regard to the opportunities and risks for the Archbishop’s ministry of the interaction between public policy and communications. Collaborating with and advising colleagues in the Communications team and the Church House Communications team on the opportunities to advance the Archbishop’s priorities through public activities or comment.

7. In consultation with colleagues at Lambeth Palace and Church House, build and develop a network of contacts with major charities, NGOs, think tanks and social and public affairs (or equivalent) departments at a national level in other denominations and faiths; consulting and liaising with them on joint projects and requests for joint intervention on public issues.

8. Liaise with the Parliamentary Unit who lead on supporting the parliamentary work of the Archbishop of Canterbury, in order to keep abreast of matters of interest to the Archbishop before parliament.

9. Deal with correspondence on behalf of the Archbishop on social & public affairs matters, and provide advice on the numerous invitations to speak or take part in events.

10. Oversee the work of the Social and Public Affairs Research Officer.

The Requirements



  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including the ability to communicate complex matters succinctly and accurately.
  • Intellectual ability to manage a wide-ranging portfolio with understanding, keeping a close eye on many competing concerns.
  • Strong research skills, including the ability to assimilate, understand and retain information at speed, from written and oral sources.
  • Able to initiate and manage multiple projects from conception and design through to completion.
  • Able to work quickly and efficiently, prioritising multiple tasks and meeting deadlines.
  • Well developed interpersonal and advocacy skills.
  • Advanced general IT capability/attitude including the Microsoft Office package.


  • Proven experience at decision-making level in public policy or a related field.
  • Demonstrable achievement in delivering public policy projects.
  • Experience of the charitable voluntary sector, particularly in public affairs engagement or campaigning.
  • Experience of drafting complex policy briefs, speeches and other written material.
  • Understanding of political processes and structures.
  • Knowledge of the Church of England’s policy on matters of social and public affairs and an understanding of the theological context behind them.

Personal Attributes:

  • Well-organised and clear thinking; able to respond swiftly to a challenge.
  • Able to work without direct supervision to high standards and to be a collaborative team member.
  • Capable of quickly commanding the respect, confidence and attention of senior figures.
  • Flexible and adaptable.
  • Sensitive and diplomatic.
  • Having personal sympathy with the ministry of the Archbishop and his priorities.


  • Knowledge through academic study or significant experience in a relevant subject, e.g. politics, social policy, theology, religious studies.


  • Willingness and availability to work outside normal office hours including weekends, on occasion.
  • Willingness to undertake travel, on occasion.
  • We would welcome applicants from any Christian background and/or a variety of Christian life experiences, including those of long-standing, or a more recent commitment to their faith. This post carries an occupational requirement to be a practicing Christian (in accordance with the Equality Act 2010).


  • Knowledge of the life and structures of the Church of England.
  • Experience of working in or with Westminster/Whitehall.

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. To learn more about working for National Church Institutions and our benefits, please click here

As we are a member of the Armed Forces Covenant, we welcome all applications from those you have served in our Armed Forces and their families

We are committed to building a culturally diverse workforce. As part of this commitment, we welcome applications from people, regardless of their background. As a Disability Confident committed employer, it is important to note that there may be occasions where it is not practical or appropriate to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria* due to high volume. We limit the amount of interviews conducted to five applicants per open post we advertise.

*Where applicable depending on post requirements.