Independent Chair- Safe Spaces England and Wales (SSEW)

Posted 19 days agoExpires in 9 days
Church House, Great Smith Street, Westminster (meetings are currently taking place online due to Covid-19)
The role of Independent Chair is a voluntary position. An honorarium of £400 per meeting + reasonable expenses will be paid in accordance with the NCIs expenses policy

Our aim is for everyone in the National Church Institutions (NCIs) to feel that they belong, and are valued for who they are and what they contribute. Together, our people contribute in different ways towards our common purpose, whichever NCI they work in and whatever their background.

Are you looking for a new trustee/director level voluntary experience that will make a real difference to victims and survivors of abuse?

Do you have significant leadership experience at board level in the charity or third sector?

Do you have an interest and understanding of safeguarding?

If yes, Safe Spaces England and Wales (SSEW) is seeking an Independent Chairperson to join their board of directors and would like to hear from you.

The Independent Chairperson will provide leadership to the SSEW board, comprised of two directors from the Church of England, and two from the Catholic Church in England and Wales. The SSEW board will oversee the management of the contracted Safe Spaces service, an innovative new helpline for victims and survivors of church related abuse.

Proposed interview date: Monday 29th March 2021

More information about Safe Spaces England and Wales:

The Church of England and the Catholic Trust for England and Wales (CaTEW) have come together to commission a new support service for victims and survivors of church related abuse, known as Safe Spaces. Victim Support, a national independent charity, has been contracted to deliver the service.

In order to ensure agile, arms-length oversight and decision-making in connection with the Safe Spaces contract, the Archbishops’ Council (Church of England) and CaTEW have formed a new charitable company, Safe Spaces England and Wales, to manage the contract.

Principal responsibilities

The Independent Chairperson will use their board-level governance experience to:

  • Provides a level of independent challenge and scrutiny to the directors of SSEW
  • Provides a clear strategic direction for the Board of directors of SSEW.
  • Ensures that the Board regularly reviews its major risks, and satisfies itself that systems are in place to manage and mitigate the risks
  • Takes responsibility for ensuring the Board operates efficiently and is mindful of both its legal responsibilities and mindful of its development needs
  • Chairs all Board meetings and meetings of the Safe Spaces Advisory Committee.
  • Ensure the SSEW Board receives accurate, timely and clear information
  • Ensures all directors of SSEW are involved in the Board’s decision making
  • Engages the Board in assessing and improving its performance
  • Ensures the Board communicates effectively with key stakeholders and shareholders for the Safe Spaces service
  • Ensures that the Board fulfils its duties to ensure sound financial health of the company with systems in place to ensure financial accountability
  • Where appropriate addresses and resolves any conflicts within the Board or external stakeholders
  • Chairs meetings of the Board of directors and Advisory Committee effectively and efficiently, bringing impartiality and objectivity to the decision-making process
  • Ensure that directors are fully engaged and that decisions are sympathetic to the interests of the Archbishops Council, and the Catholic Trust of England and Wales, and that the Board takes collective ownership
  • Ensure constructive relationships exist with key stakeholders and between the members of the Board of directors
  • Ensures that all decisions taken at meetings are implemented in a timely way.

We are looking for an Independent Chair who :


  • Has significant experience of operating at a senior strategic leadership level within an organisation
  • Has experience of board governance in the charitable or third sector
  • Has significant experience of chairing governance meetings and events.
  • Demonstrates a commitment to the objectives of SSEW, and the aspirations of the AC and CaTEW in contracting an independent provider to deliver Safe Spaces.
  • Understands the core aspects of safeguarding in respect of children/ adults who have been abused
  • Has some understanding of the statutory and charity safeguarding sectors
  • Is an emotionally intelligent, discrete, and reflective leader with strong analytical skills
  • Has strong inter-personal skills, an ability to listen, engage effectively and work collaboratively
  • Can commit sufficient time to conduct the role well
  • Has a relevant academic or professional qualification


  • Has some understanding of the Church of England and Church in Wales and the Catholic Church in England and Wales and the dynamic that faith plays in the context of safeguarding.

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.

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