Head of Pastoral & Closed Churches

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Salary c70,000 p.a.

The Pastoral and Closed Churches Team supports the reimagination of the structures of the Church of England to better enable mission and ministry through fulfilling the Commissioners’ statutory functions relating to a range of key activities. These include pastoral re-organisation, parsonages and settling the future of our closed church buildings.

As Committee Secretary, you will be directing and supporting the operation and work of the Mission, Pastoral and Church Property Committee and providing expert advice to the Third Church Estates Commissioner and Committee members. You will leading on policy development to support dioceses in reviewing local organisational structures, the deployment of resources and the seeking of new uses for closed church buildings.

As well as providing support to the Commissioners in their work around teams and group ministries, the future of Church buildings, changes in parishes and archdeaconries and transactions involving church properties, you will be responsible for the people management of the Pastoral and Closed Churches Teams.

With proven experience of shaping policy and strategic development and of delivering effective outcomes, you will have a track record of working within a regulatory environment at a senior level with Boards and Committees. Flexible and creative with an innovative approach to problem solving, you will have strong inter-personal skills and the ability to develop effective working relationships.

The willingness to travel to meetings anywhere in England including some overnight stays will also be required.

At the NCIs many of our staff work flexibly in a number of different ways, including part-time. We are happy to talk at interview about options that might be possible with this role.

Interviews are expected to be held w/c 2nd March 2020.

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

Relationships with external bodies and stakeholders

  • Fostering and maintaining good relationships with Bishops, Archdeacons and diocesan staff and ensuring adequate guidance and training is provided on changing statutory responsibilities in these areas.
  • Managing the Commissioners’ relationship with the Churches Conservation Trust (CCT) in terms of operations, financing, casework and monitoring vesting capacity. Liaising with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport as its co-funder under the Trust’s Joint Funding Agreement.
  • Developing effective working relationships with other relevant bodies, including Historic England, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Planning Inspectorate (and dealing directly with these bodies on the referral of cases to the Secretary of State regarding possible non-statutory public inquiries).

Committee role and policy development

  • Supporting the work of the Third Church Estates Commissioner: leading on policy development in relation to the Commissioners’ statutory functions under the Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011 and related legislation.
  • As Committee Secretary, ensuring the smooth running of the Mission, Pastoral and Church Property Committee, including agenda setting, timely production of papers and minutes, advising and maintaining good relationships with Committee members, providing operational and policy guidance, and implementing the Committee’s decisions.
  • Developing and promoting proposals for streamlining and improving governance arrangements and effective service delivery of these functions.
  • Overseeing and taking forward proposals for resolving complex casework, deciding the timing of any Committee referrals.
  • Using policy expertise to develop and oversee preparation and updating of publicly available statutory guidance and other material on relevant legislation (e.g. Mission and Pastoral Measure Code of Practice and the House of Bishops’ Code of Practice on Bishops’ Mission Orders) and the provision of training and advice to diocesan colleagues in these and associated matters.
  • To provide the co-secretariat for the Strategic Church Buildings Support Group

Leading the Pastoral & Closed Churches Team

  • Leading and managing the work of the Pastoral Casework and the Closed Churches Casework teams in accomplishing their day to day responsibilities for casework.
  • Developing the customer focus and continuous service delivery of the team, while ensuring compliance with statutory procedures
  • Benchmark the effectiveness of the department to evolve and adapt through innovation enabling improved performance
  • Ensuring the timely, effective and efficient delivery of the Commissioners’ statutory functions relating to parish re-organisation, the future of closed churches and parsonages, and some glebe transactions.
  • Ensuring the effective handling of all public consultation and representation cases; minimising the risk of legal challenge.
  • Develop and enable staff in their role and establish good management practice.
  • Awareness of wider legislative and policy developments and advising colleagues and external contacts on their impact.

Financial and Budget Oversight

  • Developing and securing Synodical approval for the Commissioners’ funding proposals for the CCT (£1.43m per annum) and overseeing payments to the CCT.
  • Management of the Commissioners’ Value Linked Loans for clergy housing.
  • Managing the administrative budget for the department.
  • Member of the Commissioners’ Management Group and Senior Leadership Group of the NCIs.

The Requirements



  • Proven experience of shaping policy and strategic development with a track record of delivering effective outcomes.
  • Experience of a regulatory environment and working closely at a senior level with Boards and Committees.
  • Experience of fostering a service culture while also resolving complex casework where conflicting priorities may arise.
  • Experience of interpreting and advising on legislation to a non-specialist audience.
  • Experience of identifying and leading opportunities for cultural and technological change


  • Flexible and creative, innovative approach to problem solving within legislative constraints.
  • Strong inter-personal skills and demonstrable ability to develop effective relationships and influence and advise at a senior level.
  • Ability to deal with complex, sensitive and contentious matters directly involving members and other key stakeholders.
  • Ability to research and analyse complex policy issues and present and implement proposals for change and also for improved service delivery.
  • Ability to motivate, lead and develop a team.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.



  • Experience of working in a complex, multi-faceted organisation with a dispersed and diverse leadership structure.
  • Knowledge of a wide range of ecclesiastical and secular legislation and public administrative procedures, along with ability to understand how the different pieces of legislation and procedures interact.
  • A sound knowledge and understanding of the roles, structure and culture of the Church of England.


  • Administrative experience to oversee the detailing and presentation of Committee papers.
  • Good IT skills including use of Microsoft Office applications.

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 of you who 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.