Personal Assistant, Archbishop of Canterbury’s Private Office

This job has now expired
Lambeth Palace, London
Fixed Term Full Time
£26954 rising to £28983 after probation

Lambeth Palace is a unique building of significant historical and global provenance. It is, first and foremost, the home of the Archbishop of Canterbury and his family, as well as home to a wider, diverse and thriving, residential community. It is also an office and the epicentre of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s ministry to the Church of England and the global Anglican Communion. It is a Grade I listed building comprising various listed buildings dating from the 12th to the 20th centuries, set within 10 acres of beautiful landscaped gardens. Fundamentally, the Palace seeks to be a place of contribution to the life of a 21st century church.

In support of the Archbishop’s ministry, the office at Lambeth Palace is made up of several interconnected teams – Anglican Communion, Chaplaincy, Communications, Correspondence, Ecumenical, Evangelism & Witness, Facilities, Finance, Hospitality, Inter-Religious, Public Affairs, Reconciliation, Records - each providing pivotal, interdependent and essential support to the Archbishop to enable the effective delivery of the ministry to which he has been called by God.

Lambeth Palace is an exciting and vibrant ‘community of communities’. Working here provides an excellent opportunity to contribute to the ministry of an internationally significant religious leader in a friendly, busy, fast-paced and dynamic office. The team at Lambeth Palace works collaboratively with colleagues throughout the National Church Institutions (NCIs) and beyond and supports each other at busy periods with flexibility and good humour.

This is a unique opportunity to provide high quality support and administrative assistance to the Archbishop of Canterbury, PA support to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Personal Private Secretary, and wider team support as required.

You will have daily contact with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Mrs Welby, the Private Office team and a diverse range of colleagues and external contacts from the Church, Government and charitable organisations both here and overseas.

You will enjoy using your skills and experience to provide a range of administrative support to the Archbishop which will include preparing correspondence, transcribing reports and speeches and in liaison with the Diary Manager, handling requests for the Archbishop's time. In addition, providing PA support to the Archbishop of Canterbury's Personal Private Secretary will give you the opportunity to be involved in the preparation of meetings including booking rooms and hospitality, circulating agendas, taking minutes and organising travel when required.

An excellent communicator with the confidence and diplomacy to engage at all levels, you will be a self-starter, able to use initiative and good judgement. With excellent IT skills and the ability to type fast and accurate documents, you will thrive on the challenge of competing priorities, ensuring that tasks are completed professionally, collaboratively and on time.

Your usual place of work with be Lambeth Palace, London, although currently employees are working remotely due to Covid-19 restrictions.

This is a fixed-term contract to cover maternity leave, expected to last until December 2021.

Interviews will be held remotely using Zoom on Friday 4th December 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

Provide administrative support to the Archbishop of Canterbury as follows:

  • Word process the Archbishop’s personal correspondence from manuscript and draft correspondence for his signature.
  • In liaison with the Private Office team, transcribe correspondence, reports, speeches, etc. as dictated by the Archbishop.
  • Organise refreshments and receiving guests as required on behalf of the Archbishop.
  • File and retrieve the Archbishop’s personal correspondence and assist with his more general filing.
  • Assist colleagues when they are producing correspondence for the Archbishop to sign, including helping them with templates, formatting etc.
  • Process the Archbishop’s expense claims in time to meet deadlines.
  • Record incoming gifts and books, and ensure timely responses as necessary.
  • Source outgoing gifts for the Archbishop and Mrs Welby, in liaison with other teams.
  • In liaison with the Diary Manager, commission and receive briefing for the Archbishop’s meetings and events, ensuring that it is received on time and complete.
  • Assist with any other ad hoc tasks, for example ordering books which the Archbishop requires, arranging greeting cards to sign, setting up Zoom meetings and so on.
  • Maintain regular contact with people of all levels in the many areas of the Archbishop’s ministry, including by telephone and e-mail, whilst ensuring a high degree of confidentiality.
  • Use internal software to record incoming requests for the Archbishop’s time, in liaison with the Diary Manager.
  • Ensure timely, efficient and courteous handling of correspondence associated with requests for the Archbishop’s time, in liaison with the Diary Manager.

Provide PA support to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Personal Private Secretary as follows:

  • In consultation with the Personal Private Secretary, assist with managing their diary, including booking rooms and hospitality where appropriate.
  • Circulate the agenda and take the minutes of any meetings, for the Personal Private Secretary, when required.
  • Organise meetings, prepare briefings and papers when required, make all travel arrangements and submit expense forms.
  • Provide cover for other roles in the Private Office within agreed limits as and when required.
  • General support to the Private Office and other Lambeth Palace Teams as required. This may occasionally result in the post-holder working unsocial hours.

The Requirements



  • Excellent communication skills both oral and written.
  • Ability to maintain a high degree of confidentiality.
  • Good interpersonal and diplomatic skills, with the ability to deal with people of all levels with confidence and respect and to work well as a member of a team.
  • Excellent prioritisation skills.
  • Efficient and quick at dealing with requests.
  • Well organised, methodical attention to detail, and the ability to cope with conflicting priorities.
  • Able to work flexibly, both in terms of time and responsibilities.
  • Proactive and able to use initiative.
  • Innovative with the ability to identify and implement new ways of working.
  • Excellent IT skills including Microsoft Word and Outlook (calendar and email), excellent word processing skills with fast and accurate typing.
  • Well-presented work with a keen eye for detail.


  • Evidence of working in a proactive way, taking the initiative.
  • A sympathy with and interest in the Archbishop of Canterbury’s ministry and their role in public, national and international life.


  • Educated to A level (or have equivalent professional experience), with a good command of written and spoken English, including accurate spelling and punctuation and a good telephone manner.

Personal Attributes:

  • Ability to maintain a high degree of confidentiality and good judgement in dealing with a wide range of issues.
  • Ability to work calmly under pressure, and to adapt plans quickly in response to change.
  • Emotionally resilient, with the ability to remain calm under pressure.



  • Secretarial experience, particularly handling and drafting large volumes of correspondence.
  • Knowledge of the Church of the England.
  • Ability to draft and prepare correspondence, briefs and other material as required.

All staff working at Lambeth Palace share responsibility to promote and maintain a strong safeguarding culture with regard to children and vulnerable adults, including identifying the key actions they should take given their role and responsibilities.

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 a Disability Confident Leader, we actively look to attract, recruit and retain those of you who are disabled.

As a member of the Armed Forces Covenant, we welcome applications from those of you who have served in our Armed Forces and their families.

We are committed to being an equal opportunities employer and to ensuring that everyone, job applicants, customers and other people with whom we deal, are treated fairly and not subject to discrimination. We will do whatever is necessary to provide genuine equality of opportunity. We continuously review our policies and processes to support our aim to create a workforce as diverse as the nation the Church of England serves..