As the Bishop's Personal Assistant, you will work from the Bishop’s House in Newcastle upon Tyne.
You will hold a key and vital role in the support of the Bishop’s ministry, providing comprehensive and highly professional administrative and clerical support.
You will be chiefly responsible for the efficient running of the Bishop’s Office and one of the primary first points of contact responsible for redirecting enquiries, managing diaries and workload, while presenting a positive image of the bishop, the Diocese and the Christian faith at all times.
Supported by the Supporting Secretary, you will manage the day to day running of the Bishop’s Office, including a variety of tasks and responsibilities which are secretarial, administrative, and managerial.
The role involves much responsibility, great variety and is pivotal in enabling the Bishop to succeed in her ministry. It requires the ability to engage with people from all walks of life, locally and nationally, and a high level of administrative and organisational skills.
The post is offered on a six-month fixed-term contract.
Interviews will be held on the 27th August 2020 in Newcastle.
To Provide an Efficient Secretarial Service to the Bishop of Newcastle
- Oversee the management of the Bishop’s Diary, including arranging all appointments, travel arrangements, formal and informal social events, meetings etc.
- Ensure that papers relating to meetings etc. are provided in sufficient time by providing weekly diary folders.
- Manage the email inbox for the Bishop of Newcastle address and the incoming/outgoing post, working with the Bishop and Bishop’s Chaplain.
- Acknowledge, draft replies, and deal with (if appropriate), incoming correspondence and emails.
- Deal with enquiries over the telephone or face to face, redirecting as appropriate.
- Ensure that Safeguarding and Data Protection procedures are maintained to the highest possible standards.
Oversight and Running of the Bishop’s Office
- Welcome visitors and arrange catering as necessary, liaising with the Bishop’s husband regarding invitations and the provision of hospitality at Bishop’s House.
- Ensure that all office equipment is maintained and that contracts are reviewed and renewed as appropriate.
- Oversee the management of all paper and computerised filing systems, ensuring that all filing and databases are kept up to date. This includes the archiving of papers as appropriate.
- Delegate work to the Supporting Secretary and the Bishop’s Driver.
Vacancies and Appointments
- Maintain full details of all current parish vacancies.
- Oversee the clergy appointments process, and work closely with the Bishop’s Chaplain and Archdeacons’ office to ensure the appointments process runs smoothly. Prior to interview by the relevant Bishop, check the Archbishops’ list (via the Bishop’s Chaplain), obtain CCSL and References. Post interview, draft the offer letters and ensure all necessary safer recruitment procedures have been completed and documented prior to identifying a suitable licensing date by Diocesan/Suffragan Bishop.
- Prepare and circulate the Clergy Movement form.
- Oversee all administration relating to Admissions, Licences, Permissions to Officiate and Reader Emeritus certificates.
- Liaise with the Warden of Readers and Secretary to the Readers Board regarding transfers and licensings.
Clergy and Readers with Permission to Officiate
- Oversee the process for applications for the Bishop’s Permission to Officiate, and ensure all necessary safer recruitment procedures have been completed and documented prior to Permission to Officiate being granted.
- Maintain an up to date list of those currently holding the Bishop’s Permission to Officiate, and circulate this to Area Deans every six months.
- Act as the main point of contact for with the Diocesan and Deanery Retirement Officers and ensure that they have an up to date list of all retired clergy for whom they have responsibility.
- Liaise with Area Deans to obtain and collate all requests for Confirmations in the Diocese each year.
- Prepare lists of these requests for the Bishop and Suffragan Bishop.
- Ensure arrangement forms for the Confirmation services are completed by the parishes and provided to the Bishop with a draft order of service.
- Pay all household utility bills, including review of contracts and providers.
- Liaise with the Church Commissioners Agent concerning upkeep and repairs in consultation with the Bishop and her husband.
- Make arrangements for servicing and any work which may be required.
- Maintain the house inventory.
Health and Safety
- Maintain an up to date knowledge and understanding of current Health and Safety legislation, including Government guidelines for a Covid-safe working environment.
- Act as Health and Safety Officer within Bishop’s House.
- Prepare policy statements as required.
- Provide PA support for the Bishop’s work in the House of Lords.
- Act as Minute Secretary to the Diocesan Clergy Support Trust, and prepare all necessary papers and agendas.
- Oversee the various grants received by, and distributed by the Bishop of Newcastle.
- Carry out any other reasonable duties required by the Bishop.
- Be an experienced PA with strong verbal and written skills, accurate keyboard skills, and computer literate.
- Have experience of, and be effective in, working in a team environment, and have experience of managing and delegating work to others.
- Be confident with Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, and Publisher.
- Be able to guarantee confidentiality and discretion in relation to people and information.
- Have good interpersonal skills, combined with good humour, tact, calmness, diplomacy and sensitivity.
- Be well organised, used to managing conflicting demands, and able to prioritise time and resources effectively, often within tight deadlines.
- Be resilient and comfortable working without direct supervision.
- Be in sympathy with the aims and objectives of the Christian Church and have due regard for the traditions of the Church of England.
- Be able to learn quickly and work with the legal/technical terms and protocols used by bishops in their daily work.
- Have a good understanding of the structures of the Church of England.
The Bishop of Newcastle is a Member of the House of Bishops in Church of England's General Synod; previously she was an elected member of the House of Clergy from 1998 to 2015 (with one brief break when she moved from St Albans to Southwark Diocese) and served on many different committees including the Synod's Eucharistic Prayers Revision Committee, the Dioceses and Pastoral Measures Review Group and the Ethical Investment Advisory Group. Her major area of work on General Synod was the legislation to allow women to be bishops. She was Prolocutor of the Province of Canterbury in the Synod 2010-2015 and served on the Archbishop’s Council.
For more information about the Bishop of Newcastle please visit here
Non-clergy staff will be automatically enrolled into the Church Administrators Pension Fund (CAPF, DC Section). Clergy already in the Church of England Funded Pensions Scheme (CEFPS) will have the option of either remaining in this scheme or joining the CAPF scheme.