Parliamentary and Policy Researcher to the Bishop of Gloucester

Posted 14 days agoExpires in 1 day
Westminster, London
Fixed Term Part Time
£28,173 p.a. (Pro rata for hours worked)

Bishop Rachel has made history with a number of firsts: When she became the first female diocesan bishop in the Church of England and when she became the first female bishop in the House of Lords.

She was consecrated as the 41st Bishop of Gloucester at Canterbury Cathedral in July 2015 and formally began her new role in September 2015. She entered the House of Lords in October 2015

The purpose of this role is to support the Bishop of Gloucester in her duties as a Member of the House of Lords and her work as Anglican Bishop to women's prisons.

In order to maximise effectiveness the Parliamentary and Policy Researcher will be based at Church House, Westminster (the national offices of the Church of England) in the Church of England Parliamentary Unit. However due to restrictions imposed on workplaces by COVID-19 the successful candidate should expect to work from home initially, and further flexibility may be required depending on workplace restrictions put in place.

The Parliamentary Unit serves the National Church Institutions (NCIs) by maintaining links with MPs, Peers and employees and helping the NCIs to engage more effectively with the Parliamentary process. The Unit is based within the Mission and Public Affairs Division (MPA) of the Archbishops’ Council, which is concerned with the Church’s engagement with society and with issues of public concern. 

As Parliamentary and Policy Researcher to the Bishops of Gloucester, you will work 8 hours per week starting in September 2020.

Your work will be overseen by the Bishop of Gloucester and by the Head of Parliamentary Affairs.

Your role will include research and information gathering, drafting speeches and questions and managing meetings, appointments and other events on behalf of the Bishop.  Among other things, Bishop Rachel has a particular interest in women and the criminal justice system; gender-based violence; families and children; and the flourishing of young people.

Your priorities and tasks will be set by the the Bishop however the Head of Parliamentary Affairs will manage, guide and oversee your parliamentary work on the Bishop's behalf.

The balance between Parliamentary tasks and those that relate to the Bishop’s diocesan role is likely to vary depending on the Parliamentary cycle. You will also add additional capacity to the overall work of the Parliamentary Unit in providing resource to the other bishops in the Lords from time to time.

This is a fixed-term contract which is likely to last for 12 months.

Interviews will be held on the 1st September​ 2020.

The Role

  • Supporting the Bishop’s work in the House of Lords
  • Advising on and researching materials for Parliamentary speeches and interventions. Monitoring and keeping the Bishop informed about relevant Parliamentary developments and timetables
  • Liaising with MPs, Peers and their staff, Parliamentary officials and others in and outside the NCIs on behalf of the Bishop
  • Drafting articles for publication and [if applicable] press releases about the Bishop’s work, in close collaboration with diocesan and Church House Communications Officers
  • Providing research resource for the Bishop in his/her diocesan and non-Parliamentary work, as and when required. This may involve researching and drafting talks, articles and lectures
  • Assisting with disseminating the Church’s Parliamentary responses to specific issues or bills, as agreed with the Head of Parliamentary Affairs and Deputy Head of Parliamentary Affairs. Supporting the Head and Deputy Head of Parliamentary Affairs in their wider responsibilities and standing in for them as and when required
  • Working with the Parliamentary Unit to ensure that the Bishops are kept abreast of the wider activities of the Lords Spiritual and the Parliamentary Unit

The Requirements

Essential

Skills/Aptitudes:

  • Excellent communication skills, verbally and in writing. Proven ability in drafting briefing papers or press releases, bulletins or other accessible modes of communication
  • Excellent organisational skills, including time management, diary management etc.
  • Research skills, with the ability to gather information quickly and accurately and to produce content in forms suitable for both brief speeches and full-length addresses
  • Ability to discern the impact of policies, legislation etc. on the Church of England, other churches, and other faith communities
  • The ability to work well as part of a team
  • Competent in the use of IT 

Knowledge/Experience:

  • Knowledge of Parliamentary processes, current affairs and the making of Government policy
  • A grasp of the key issues facing the Church of England in its public role today
  • Some experience of organising events (receptions, seminars, meetings etc.)

Personal attributes:

  • Enthusiasm, energy and imagination
  • Discretion and judgement in handling confidential or sensitive material
  • A flexible, open and collaborative working style
  • A willingness to work with and learn from senior colleagues, and people of differing political and theological persuasions

Education:

  • Degree level or equivalent

Circumstances:

Willingness and ability to work some unsocial hours when required.

Desirable

Education:

Degree, A Level (or equivalent) in a relevant subject, such as politics, theology etc.

Knowledge / Experience:

  • Some knowledge or experience of parliamentary processes, political parties, think tanks, lobby groups etc.
  • Some knowledge of the structures of the Church of England
  • Ability to manage own work programme with minimal direct management, deliver outcomes to deadlines and to work under pressure.
  • Proven ability in presenting complex data in manageable and informative ways

Non-clergy employees will be automatically enrolled into the in the Pension Builder 2014 Pension Plan (PB2014) in line with legislation unless they choose to opt out.

As we are a member of the Armed Forces Covenant, we welcome 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. 

For more information about the Bishop of Gloucester please visit here