Diocesan Secretary (Chief Executive)

This job has now expired
£75500 - £80000


Thank you for expressing interest in this important post in the Church of England’s Diocese of Leeds. The Diocesan Secretary – known as Chief Executive in some dioceses – plays an essential role in the life, ministry and mission of the diocese, so we are looking for someone with serious Christian commitment and exceptional ability in leadership and administration.

You will work closely with me and my Staff Team to lead the diocese’s administration, enabling our vision to be realised by implementation of our agreed strategy. Close relationships with senior colleagues are underpinned by prayer and motivated by a commitment to the life of the Kingdom of God. Your role will help encourage, challenge, develop, resource and promote all areas of church life across a large and diverse diocese in one of the most beautiful and complex areas of Northern England.

The Diocese of Leeds is very young. Created in April 2014 following the dissolution of the historic dioceses of Bradford, Ripon & Leeds and Wakefield, the diocese – its vision, strategy, structures, systems and organisation have had to be created from anew. This has been immensely demanding, and the retiring Diocesan Secretary has been one of three key figures in making this happen despite numerous obstacles and some cost. Five years in, we are now in a new phase and can confidently look to the future with faith and hope.

You will lead a team of committed and professional people working in areas such as finance, property, HR, safeguarding, evangelism, children & young people, education and communications. Your advice will derive from wide experience of the church and administration, and you will recruit, manage and lead an office in the centre of Leeds which has been designed for effective team working.

You will also be responsible for ensuring the smooth running of the governance in the diocese. You will be Company Secretary to the Board of Finance and Secretary to the Diocesan Synod. You will be responsible for financial, legal and representative order.

This post is demanding, but very rewarding as we build for the future. You will need vision, pragmatism, courage, creativity and humour along with a love of problem-solving and conflict resolution. You will be supported by a range of able colleagues and can expect to develop executive skills in a unique environment.

The Diocese of Leeds is a vibrant and challenging place to serve. I hope you will consider exploring this opportunity further, with a view to joining us in the next phase of our diocesan life together.

The Rt Revd Nicholas Baines

Bishop of Leeds

To apply for this post, please submit an application via Pathways which must include:

  • A comprehensive CV including details of three referees whom we might contact at shortlisting stage.
  • A supporting statement that addresses the criteria set out in the Person Specification (maximum 4 sides of A4). Please explain your interest in this role and what you might bring to it.
  • Please also ensure you have completed and submitted the equal opportunities monitoring form as you submit your application. The information you provide will be treated as confidential and used for statistical purposes only. The form will not be treated as part of your application.

The closing date for applications is midnight Monday 4th November 2019.

Interviews will take place on Monday 25th November 2019.

If you are having difficulties with your application, please contact Anna Mitchell, HR Manager, by emailing anna.mitchell@leeds.anglican.org

If you wish to discuss this post, please contact Bishop Nick Baines via his PA Lyndsay Horsman by telephoning 0113 284 4300 or emailing lyndsay.horsman@leeds.anglican.org

For a full information pack, please download it through the attachment below.

Contextual background

The Diocese of Leeds came into existence at Easter 2014 following the dissolution of the former dioceses of Bradford, Ripon & Leeds, and Wakefield. It covers the whole of West Yorkshire, the western part of North Yorkshire, and small parts of South Yorkshire, Lancashire, and County Durham. The diocese has 462 parishes and 656 church buildings. It comprises five Episcopal Areas, each led by a bishop and an archdeacon. Uniquely in the Church of England, we have three cathedrals: Bradford, Ripon and Wakefield. Reorganisation of parishes and deaneries has begun, but this work will continue into the future.

Diocesan Strategy

The 5 year Diocesan Strategy, Maturing in Christ, was approved by the Synod in March 2019. The detail is contained in the following documents: Maturing in Christ - the Strategy Document (which sets out our five strategic goals), Objectives and Initiatives, Toolkit and Strategy Summary document. These are all available here (https://www.leeds.anglican.org/content/diocesan-strategy-documents).

The five goals and the measurable objectives set the direction for parishes and the central administration. They provide the vision, the boundaries and the practical guidance to keep us focussing together and on track to deliver our mission across this exciting diocese.

The Diocesan Secretary, working with senior colleagues, is responsible for ensuring that diocesan resource is focused on delivering the vision and strategy. He/she will ensure diocesan staff understand their pivotal role in supporting parishes to develop the strategy in their individual contexts.

Key Responsibilities

Accountable to the Bishop of Leeds (as diocesan bishop and chair of the Diocesan Board), the Diocesan Secretary is responsible for the leadership and managerial oversight of the staff employed by the Leeds Diocesan Board of Finance (LDBF). The Diocesan Secretary will lead the central administration team to implement and develop the diocesan strategy. He/she will work with the Bishop and senior colleagues to shape the culture and ethos of the diocese and empower teams to ensure that the central services are fit for purpose, primarily in the following areas:

1) Assisting in the formulation, implementation and communication of Diocesan Policy and Strategy

2) Management of the Financial, Property and Human Resources of the Diocese.

3) As a member of the Bishop’s senior staff team

4) Ensuring a clear and compliant safeguarding policy is embedded into the culture of the Diocese.

5) Ensuring excellent communication across all areas of diocesan life.

6) Governance and Statutory requirements.

Principal Areas of Accountability

1) Assisting in the formulation, implementation and communication of Diocesan Policy and Strategy.

The Diocesan Secretary is a member of the (Diocesan) Bishop’s Staff Team (BST) and will work closely with the Bishop and senior colleagues to advise on policy and process, ensuring integration of different areas of work so that they align with Diocesan Strategy. The role will include actively proposing and developing new ideas and plans, especially for future deployment of the Diocese’s resources.

He/she will:

  • Work with the range of Committees and Boards in the Diocese (e.g. The Board, Diocesan Synod, FAIC and Education). Additionally, he/she will work with clergy at all levels and with members of a committed laity to coordinate ideas and to ensure that both the potential contribution for all areas is maximised and that all parties cooperate effectively in implementation.
  • Oversee and co-ordinate, as appropriate, the implementation of policy across a broad range of central functions and ensure that the implementation of agreed plans is efficient and effective through leadership of the Heads of Departments.
  • Lead a central service to provide a point of reference within the Diocese to support clergy and laity to carry out their responsibilities.
  • Be a lead member of the Bishop’s Strategy Group, working with the Chair to ensure ongoing development, implementation and regular review of strategy.

2) Management of the Financial, Property and Human Resources of the Diocese

The Diocesan Secretary will provide both strategic leadership and general management for the team of officers who work within Church House and beyond.He/she will have overall responsibility for these employees and for ensuring that the office works as effectively as possible to serve and facilitate the mission of the Church in parishes across the Diocese.

He/she will:

  • Convene regular meetings of the Senior Leadership Team and be responsible for ensuring that all departments are appropriately resourced;
  • Oversee and coordinate the operations of the Diocesan Office by ensuring the effective and appropriate delegation of tasks throughout the office, and that best practice in personnel and wider policy and procedures (e.g. equal opportunities, health and safety) are applied;
  • Have overall responsibility for a budget of £32 million, ensuring the robust monitoring of expenditure against budget;
  • Work closely with the CFO and Chair of Financial Assets and Investment Committee (FAIC) to ensure the Diocese’s financial viability and to maximise business efficiency;
  • Oversee the management of investments and assets to maximise income to support mission and ministry;
  • Work with the CFO, FAIC and other colleagues to develop an appropriate Parish Share System, engaging all stakeholders;
  • With colleagues, recruit, select and manage Heads of Department (HODs) and other specialist roles across the diocese, ensuring the new recruits are a good fit with the diocesan values and culture;
  • Work closely with and coach HODs as required by their key responsibilities, ensuring each HOD has established a clear set of collective and individual objectives for their respective teams, and is accountable for an agreed budget;
  • Undertake performance management for direct reports using the Diocesan annual review process and enable any learning activities that derive from them;
  • Support all reportees to reach their full potential by enabling them to take ownership of their areas of specialism and be accountable for the decisions taken;
  • Lead a holistic culture of learning, development and service amongst employees, empowering all through departmental objectives and targets aligned to the Diocesan vision and strategy;
  • Foster a culture of service and spirit of cooperation between the Diocesan Office and those ministering in the parishes of the Diocese;
  • Work with colleagues in the diocesan office to ensure an understanding of the unique contribution everyone can make to the culture and ethos of the diocesan.
  • In collaboration with senior colleagues, be alert to the pastoral needs of the clergy, their families, parishes and lay people;

3) As a member of the Bishop’s senior staff team

Working with the Bishop and his team, the Diocesan Secretary will help to equip and resource the clergy and the people in the parishes to carry out the mission of the Church in alignment with the Diocesan Strategy. He/she will have a key role advising on strategy, policy, governance and resources.

He/she will:

  • Work closely and meet regularly with the Diocesan Bishop, ensuring he is well supported and kept updated and informed of current issues;
  • Work with members of the BST, encouraging collaboration and cohesion to deliver the vision and mission of the Diocese;
  • Provide support, information and professional advice to the Diocesan Synod and LDBF, appropriate sub-committees and working parties;

4) Ensuring a clear and compliant safeguarding policy is embedded into the culture of the Diocese.

The Diocesan Secretary will work with the Bishop to co-ordinate and implement safeguarding policy. He/she will uphold diocesan safeguarding policy and philosophy and support the work of the safeguarding advisers.

Working with the Diocesan Bishop and senior colleagues he/she will ensure:

  • The Diocese has appropriate and effective safeguarding policies and procedures in place;
  • The Bishop’s Staff Team is able to fully implement safeguarding policies and procedures;
  • That parishes are able to fully implement safeguarding policies and procedures;
  • A culture of openness and transparency is embedded in relation to safeguarding practice;
  • Regular review of practices and procedures and a lessons learned process is in use.
  • Legal compliance and good practice.

5) Ensuring excellent communication across all areas of diocesan life.

The Diocesan Secretary will highlight the critical significance of communication and its importance to the continual development of relationships between the diocesan administration and those at the grass roots.

He/she will:

  • Encourage a culture of productive and flourishing relationships between the Diocesan Office and the deaneries and parishes, giving attention to the way in which information is communicated and received;
  • Participate in developing and managing a Diocesan Communications Strategy and promote its effectiveness through the use of IT and the media;
  • Ensure effective communication of diocesan priorities and financial policy across the diocese maintaining and building the confidence of parishes and other stakeholders through effective and personal engagement;
  • With others, communicate the critical importance of Parish Share including the theological underpinning and its importance to the viability of the Diocese;
  • Ensure the needs and aspirations of parishes and deaneries are well understood in diocesan boards, committees and throughout Church House;
  • Develop and maintain healthy communication with key personnel across the diocese, its deaneries and parishes, as well as the cathedrals, so as to encourage ownership of the shared vision and mission of the Diocese;
  • Network with Diocesan Secretaries regionally and nationally and with colleagues in the National Church Institutions (NCIs).

6) Governance and Statutory Responsibility

The Diocesan Secretary has the overall responsibility for ensuring the governance of the Diocese. He/she will develop measures and criteria by which to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of policies and strategic plans throughout the Diocese and review these assessments with the Bishop and his Staff.

He/she will:

  • Manage the implementation of decisions made by Diocesan Synod and Bishop’s Staff including being part of working groups as required;
  • Monitor and report on the effectiveness of Diocesan Strategy, projects, initiatives and decisions;
  • Ensure the ongoing development and regular review of the risk register, including an annual review with the Leeds Board;
  • Act as the Company Secretary to the DBF and Secretary to the Diocesan Synod;
  • Act as presiding officer for synodical elections;
  • Act as a trustee of Fountains Church (Bradford City Centre Resource Church).

Other Responsibilities

  • Work closely with the Diocesan Director of Education to ensure the Diocesan vision and priorities are reflected in the strategic plans and operational activities of the Diocesan Board of Education.
  • Ensure compliance with Church of England national policy.
  • Support the work of the Diocesan Retreat House (Parcevall Hall), working with the Warden to maximise usage, while retaining the Christian culture and ethos.
  • Represent the Diocese at national and regional meetings.
  • Lead HODs as a group, ensuring timely and within budget delivery of strategic priorities.

Experience, Skills and Knowledge

The Diocesan Secretary should be able to provide evidence of the following:

  • Experience of working successfully at a senior level in a complex organisation
  • A successful track record of leading and developing high performing teams
  • Experience of successfully devising and delivering strategic change management projects
  • Good financial acumen; financial and budgetary experience at a senior leadership level
  • Evidence of working effectively within a complex governance structure
  • Excellent communications skills, both written and verbal
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills and experience of working successfully with a wide range of diverse people
  • A good understanding of safeguarding in the context of the Church of England and the requirements of a Diocesan Secretary
  • The ability to take a long-term view, setting goals for the future
  • The ability to analyse situations and make decisions based on risk

Qualifications and Training

The Diocesan Secretary should be able to provide evidence of the following:

  • A degree or appropriate professional qualification in a relevant discipline or evidence of significant experience in a similar role
  • Evidence of continuous professional and management development
  • Recognised management qualification e.g. MBA (desirable)

Personal Attributes

The Diocesan Secretary should:

  • Be a person of integrity and gravitas
  • Have the ability to convince others of a view, conclusion or position, communicating in an impactful way, tailored to one’s audience.
  • Have the ability to adapt one’s behavioural style or method of approach where necessary to achieve a goal
  • Have the ability to respond to change with a positive attitude, demonstrating a willingness to learn new ways to accomplish objectives
  • Have the willingness and ability to work co-operatively and collaboratively with others toward a shared goal
  • Have the ability to build positive relationships being sympathetic to the needs of others
  • Have the confidence in one’s judgement or opinion, showing resilience in adversity
  • Be open, supportive and trusting with the ability to listen effectively with discernment and sensitivity
  • Have an understanding of confidentiality issues and the use of discretion
  • Have an openness to learning and change

Disposition and Attitude

The Diocesan Secretary should:

  • Be a communicant member of a church affiliated to Churches Together in Britain and Ireland.

Special Requirements

The Diocesan Secretary should:

  • Have the ability to travel across the diocese.
  • Be willing to work flexibly (including evenings and weekends) to deliver the requirements of the role.