Chaplain for the Bishop in Europe

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Rue Capitaine Crespel 47 box 49, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
€51,724 - €60,000 per year

The Diocese in Europe is the 42nd diocese of the Church of England. The diocese is made up of about 270 chaplaincies (parishes) ranging across 42 countries in a territory approximately matching that covered by the Council of Europe (continental Europe plus Turkey, Morocco and Western Russia).

There have been English speaking churches on the European continent since the Reformation. Historically, the southern churches were administered by the Bishop of Gibraltar and the northern churches by the Bishop of Fulham on behalf of the Bishop of London. The Diocese in Europe Measure (1980) established a unified diocese under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe.

To help oversee our vast territory we have two bishops, the Diocesan Bishop based in Brussels, and the Suffragan Bishop based in London. The Bishops are assisted by five Archdeacons. The Diocese imports Church of England Canon Law into its life via the Diocesan Constitution. Each chaplaincy is expected to have its own constitution which binds the chaplaincy into the Diocese. Each chaplaincy is therefore ordered so that it respects local law and Church of England Canon law.

The diocesan vision and strategy was formulated and approved over the course of 2015. We are emphasizing our commitment to building up congregational life, our part in the re-evangelisation of the continent; our commitment to reconciliation at every level; our particular role in serving the poor, the marginalised and the migrant; and finding the people and financial resources to do that. This vision has proved energising for our chaplaincies as they seek to articulate their own local vision and strategy.

The Diocese in Europe serves chaplaincies and congregations across Europe plus Turkey, Morocco and Western Russia. Our vision emphasises the building up of congregational life, our part in the re-evangelisation of our continent, our commitment to reconciliation at every level and our particular role in serving the poor, the marginalised and the migrant.

The Bishop’s Chaplain plays a key role at the heart of diocesan life. We seek to carry forward our mission in a digital age whilst addressing challenges such as Brexit, Covid, Data Protection and managing Safeguarding across 42 countries.

The responsibilities include:

  • Supporting the Bishop in prayer and in fulfilling his strategic
  • Acting as Chief of Staff for the Bishop’s Office in Brussels
  • Promoting effective communication across our Brussels and
    London offices and our chaplaincies
  • Developing liturgical resources for episcopal and diocesan events
  • Finding solutions to some of the management and administrative challenges that arise in an international diocese and overseeing the implementation of diocesan projects.

The Bishop therefore seeks a mature and experienced colleague who is an excellent communicator with a strong administrative mind and a wise, pastoral heart.

The candidate needs to be someone who loves Europe and is comfortable in one of the two Belgian national languages of French and Dutch. We envisage opportunities for associated priestly ministry at the Anglican Church in Ghent.

The Chaplain’s main place of work is the Bishop’s Office in Brussels. The Chaplain will be expected to keep office hours of 9:00a.m. to 5:00p.m. with a break for lunch. During the Covid-19 epidemic the Chaplain can expect a pattern of home/office hybrid working.

There is an expectation of some work and ministry being exercised outside office hours as there will be some evening commitments. The Chaplain may occasionally be required to accompany the Bishop on visits, which will entail weekend working.

Sundays: There is no firm and fixed commitment, but the Chaplain will usually be expected to take services and preach when needed.

The post is offered on a three year (renewable) term.

For an informal discussion about the role please contact the Bishop’s Office in Brussels.

Interviews will be held w/c 30 November 2020 remotely, using Zoom

Core Responsibilities of the role

Office and Work Organisation

  • Act as Chief of Staff for the Bishop’s Office. Oversee the HR processes and procedures for the office in consultation with the Church Commissioners and Propay (our HR and Payroll partner in Belgium), oversee all aspects of staff contractual relationships and look after the wellbeing of the office and those who work in it. In consultation with Propay, ensure compliance with Belgian HR and Health and Safety legislation.
  • Ensure that the Bishop is fully briefed for all engagements and meetings
  • Efficient management of the work in the office and across the Bishop’s desk, filtering what the Bishop does not need to engage with in emails and correspondence and highlighting those matters that require his attention.
  • Together with the Bishop’s PA manage the Bishop’s official diary, ensuring its accuracy and making best strategic use of the Bishop’s time.


  • Ensure that there is effective and efficient communication amongst the Bishop’s Senior Staff, and between the Bishop’s Office, Suffragan Bishop’s Office and Diocesan Office. Beyond this, support good communication with ecumenical partners, the General Synod, House of Bishops and other bodies in which the Bishop has an interest.
  • Promote best practice in digital working across the diocese, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Prayer and Worship

  • Support the Bishop in prayer.
  • Liaise with chaplaincy clergy regarding services at which the Bishop will preside and preach, ensuring all liturgical and travel details are covered and well prepared.
  • Prepare texts and templates for episcopal and diocesan liturgies.


  • Be a personal support to the Bishop and a friend to his household.
  • Assist with the ministry of hospitality.
  • Be available as someone to whom the Bishop can talk in confidence.

The Chaplain may be required to take on other duties that are commensurate with the role.

Additional Duties and Accountabilities

Culture and behaviour

  • Model Christlike behaviour in personal life and interactions with others.
  • Do everything possible to support the fruitful ministry of clergy colleagues who are often in isolated and demanding circumstances.


  • Understand and manage clergy discipline, capability, grievance and anti-bullying procedures, with full regard to relevant legislation and in consultation with the Diocesan Registrar.
  • Serve the Bishop’s Staff Meeting by acting as its Secretary.
  • Oversee the organisation of ordinations, liaising with the Registry with regard to the issue of legal documents such as licences and letters of orders.
  • Attend the Bishop’s Council and Diocesan Synod, working with the Diocesan Secretary to ensure the provision of Secretarial services to these bodies.
  • Act as the Bishop’s Data Protection Compliance Officer, liaising with the Diocesan Registrar, the Church Commissioners and Belgian lawyers as needed.
  • Manage clergy personnel files in accordance with House of Bishops guidelines.
  • As and when required play a part with Safeguarding processes and procedures.
  • Undertake special projects and investigations in the diocese (for example in situations of conflict, or where there are financial or buildings issues).
  • Be a member of such Diocesan committees as the Bishop may require and represent the Bishop on Diocesan committees when needed.

Staff Management

  • Conduct annual appraisals for staff in the Bishop’s Office, review working practices as needed, build and support team spirit.

Resource Management

  • Manage the resourcing of the Bishop’s Office, planning and structuring this as is best for the work required.
  • Manage the relationship with the Church Commissioners in regard to costs of the Bishop’s ministry and associated support.

Experience, knowledge, training and qualifications

  • Be episcopally ordained in the Church of England or a Church in full Communion with it. This means an ordained Anglican cleric who can conduct worship on behalf of the Bishop and administer all sacraments appropriate to the Church of England. 
  • Strong organisational and administrative skills. These may have been developed in a range of roles and environments pre and post ordination. Some background in legal matters would be an advantage.
  • Excellent attention to detail, keeping in mind purpose and big picture.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Be highly computer literate with fluency in modern communication media.
  • Have a lively and robust intellect and be theologically well qualified (a higher level degree in theology would be an advantage but is not essential); be able to relate theology to the mission of the Church and issues of contemporary culture and society.
  • Ability to get things done, execute action points, chase others to ensure progress.
  • Literate, respectful and welcoming of different church traditions. Liturgically sensitive and skilled.

Aptitudes, attitudes and abilities

  • Possess a love for Europe and a commitment to the mission of the Diocese in Europe.
  • Be motivated to live and work in Belgium, with competence in one of the main national languages (French or Dutch). 
  • Be mature in outlook with a deep and secure faith with a well-established spiritual discipline.
  • Show evidence of initiative, imagination and creativity, whilst being content to share the Bishop’s vision and priorities for his ministry; be able to work to the Bishop’s agenda, recognising that much of the Chaplain’s work, and the credit for it, is inevitably of a ‘hidden’ nature.
  • Be a good team player who can work well with others and command the respect of senior colleagues.
  • Be adaptable and flexible: ‘what different ways could we tackle this?’
  • Have good political judgement and ability to spot the implications of particular issues and courses of action.
  • Possess the skills in human relations necessary for effective pastoral work; be able to handle difficult and sensitive matters with tact and diplomacy; be able to maintain strict confidentiality.

The Bishop’s Office

The Bishop’s Office was set up in 2014 in Brussels as a charitable company (Office of the Bishop in Europe association sans but lucratif) with a Board of Directors chaired by the Bishop. The office premises are in the commercial centre of Brussels. 

Based in the Bishop’s Office Brussels are: the Bishop, the Bishop’s Chaplain, the Bishop’s EU attaché and Director of Communications, the Bishop’s PA, the Administrative Secretary and the Diocesan Appointments Secretary. The Pro-Cathedral of Holy Trinity is a few metres away in the same street and is often used for episcopal or diocesan liturgical events.

The Diocese particularly encourages applications from women and candidates with a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic Background.

Find out more about the Diocese in Europe here