The Church Commissioners has a role in the reorganisation of parishes, which was given to it by Parliament. The closure of church buildings, the process for finding and considering suitable uses for the buildings thereafter and their subsequent disposal are governed by legislation, the Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011.
This post is in the Commissioners’ Closed Churches Team, which is regionally based. It involves working with dioceses to drive forward the casework and settle the future of closed church buildings.
The main responsibilities for this role are;
Closed Churches Casework
- Building beneficial working relationships between dioceses and the Commissioners and proactively drive forward closed churches casework, working in partnership with dioceses and, where agreed, on behalf of dioceses in the ‘use seeking’ process.
- Work with and/or oversee Diocesan/Commissioners marketing agents, seeking marketing appraisals and valuations, providing guidance and authorising sales/marketing documentation.
- Where appropriate seek planning permissions prior to marketing or prepare planning briefs and seek local authority agreement to those briefs.
- Use judgement and skills to organise meetings with appropriate bodies to progress cases. This may include local council leaders, ward councillors, planning officers, English Heritage and other interested parties.
- Attending and reporting to Diocesan Mission & Pastoral Committees and/or Use Seeking Sub-Committees to keep them updated on progress of casework and the Commissioners updated on Diocesan proposals for reorganization that may lead to new closures.
- Preparing reports for the Commissioners’ Mission, Pastoral and Church Property Committee and attending where required.
- Advising diocese, interested bodies including English Heritage, Local Planning Authorities and Amenity Societies, solicitors and prospective purchasers on the statutory provisions set out in the Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011 and the latest version of the Code of Recommended Practice in respect of consecrated closed Churches.
- Assist with reports, arrangements and where appropriate attend the annual Mission, Pastoral and Church Property Committee Visit.
- Monitoring the emerging Local Development Frameworks (LDF) within a geographic area of the country to try and ensure that they make facilitative provision for the future of closed church buildings.
- To provide a specialist advice to dioceses on planning issues, the operation of the Pastoral Measure and ecclesiastical law in general.
- Keep up to date with the development of heritage legislation and its impact on new uses for closed churches.
Please see attached job description for full list of main responsibilities
The ideal candidates for this role must have;
- Educated to degree level or equivalent with planning or related qualifications (MRTPI, RIBA, RICS or IHBC)
- Ability to be flexible and use own initiative to pro-actively drive forward casework
- Manage own time and caseload (approx. 50 cases) with minimum supervision
- Strong organisational skills with ability to apply discretion and judgement.
- Ability to negotiate and influence a wide range of stakeholders
- Ability to understand and explain legal documentation and to grasp ecclesiastical law and procedures
- Strong communication and interpersonal skills
- Good team member and team worker
- Writing reports, preparing briefs and developing client proposals, including through the planning process
- Making presentations
- Good IT skills
- Able to travel extensively to various geographical locations to fulfil the duties of the post
- Extensive travel within England with occasional overnight stays
- Operate from a regional base
- Awareness of pastoral issues in closed church casework, especially where churchyards are involved
- Driving licence
- An understanding of the workings of the Mission and Pastoral Measure and related ecclesiastical legislation
- An understanding and empathy with the structure and culture of the Church of England
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.
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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.