Chief of Staff

Posted 20 days agoExpires in 13 days
Bishopthorpe, York

The vision for the Church of England in the 2020s is that we become a Christ centred and Jesus shaped Church. To be Christ centred requires a spiritual and theological renewal. The phrase ‘Jesus shaped’ is borrowed from the Anglican Communion and describes how our life in Christ should be shaped by the five marks of mission.

From this central vision three strategic objectives have emerged –

  • to be a church of missionary disciples
  • to be a church where mixed ecology is the norm
  • to be a church that is younger and more diverse

Nationally, the Archbishop of York leads on this agenda. It therefore shapes the Living Christ’s Story agenda of the York diocese and the agenda for our work here at Bishopthorpe, both to support this national and diocesan ministry, but also to help Archbishop Stephen identify specific priorities for his own ministry, particularly here in the Northern Province.

As Chief of Staff to the Archbishop of York, you will report directly to the Archbishop of York and provide the Archbishop with assistance to conduct his ministry within the life of the nation, the Church of England and the Anglican Communion.

You will support the Archbishop in his priorities of Mission, Teaching and Pilgrimage to the Diocese, Province and Nation. You will work with existing stakeholders and seek new partnerships to amplify the ministry priorities and work with colleagues at Lambeth Palace, coordinating the work of the Archbishops’ commissions and task forces.

You will be the Archbishop’s chief companion, support and critical friend for developing and refining this vision, aligning his work with the dioceses and central structures of the Church of England, ensuring his time is used effectively and strategically, and making it happen.

You will be based at Bishopthorpe Palace in the village of Bishopthorpe although currently, employees are working remotely due to Covid-19 restrictions.


  • Stage 1 – Thursday 27 May 2021 (via zoom). In addition to the interview, there will be a presentation and informal conversations with some employees from Bishopthorpe Palace.
  • Stage 2 – Wednesday 2 June 2021 (in person).

We would welcome applicants from any Christian background and/or a variety of Christian life experiences, including those of long-standing, or a more recent commitment to their faith. This post carries an occupational requirement to be a practicing Christian (in accordance with the Equality Act 2010).

If you would like to know more about this role, please contact Leann Dawson –

To apply, please complete an application including :

  1. An up-to-date Curriculum Vitae
  2. A supporting statement (maximum two pages) that outlines your interest in this particular role, the ministry of the Archbishop of York and your fit against the criteria set out in the person specification
  3. A short video (maximum 4 minutes) outlining how you would offer companionship, critical friendship and support to the Archbishop of York.

This role is subject to an Enhanced with Barring DBS check.

For further details, please see the Chief of Staff recruitment pack attached as a PDF below.

The Role

  • To be a companion, critical friend and support to the Archbishop in all his ministry.
  • Leading on the Archbishop’s priorities of Mission, teaching and Pilgrimage to the Diocese, Province, the National Church and the Anglican Communion.
  • To advise the Archbishop as he determines the objectives and policy goals of his ministry and to ensure that these are communicated to relevant bodies.
  • The development, agreement and implementation of a strategic planning framework on a 3-5 year rolling basis to ensure that all aspects of the Archbishop’s work are properly paced and implemented.
  • Instigate, organise and staff private meetings, public events and social occasions for the Archbishop of York at Bishopthorpe Palace and around the country in relation to his priorities.
  • Oversee the development and implementation of these priorities, ensuring new and creative ways of approaching the priorities are considered.
  • Oversee the development of a communication strategy for the Archbishop and the Palace in close collaboration with the Head of Communications.
  • Collaborating with and advising colleagues in the Communications Team and the Church House Communications Team on the opportunities to advance the Archbishop’s priorities through public activities or comment.
  • Have particular strategic regard to the opportunities and risks for the Archbishop’s ministry.
  • Work with existing stakeholders and seek new partnerships across various networks to amplify the Archbishop’s ministry priorities.
  • Regularly review and reflect on the work the Archbishop undertakes, including leading on diary and strategy meetings with the wider team.
  • Commissioning and assembling theological and other research with partners to further the work of the Archbishop’s priorities and ministry.
  • Interpreting and applying such information, views, and data and presenting them appropriately to the Archbishop.
  • Work with partners in the Dioceses and Cathedrals across the Northern Province to collaborate and keep the work of the national vision and strategy work in the forefront.
  • Attend National Church meetings maximising on the opportunities to network and build relationships to enhance the Archbishop’s priorities.
  • Work with colleagues at Lambeth Palace to lead on various projects and work around the Archbishops’ commissions and develop closer collaboration between Bishopthorpe and Lambeth.
  • To manage and oversee the development and work of the Bishopthorpe Partners. In partnership with the trustees, create a 3-5 year strategic plan and put in place solid governance arrangements.
  • Manage the work of the internal strategy team exerting influence, recommending courses of action and taking steps to implement decisions.
  • To advise the Archbishop as he determines the objectives and policy goals of his ministry.
  • To ensure effective communication across the staff structure.
  • To provide advice and support to Bishops across the province as required and particularly on issues relating to mission and strategic development opportunities.
  • As part of the Bishopthorpe Senior Team, advise the Archbishop on the planning of his official business and commitments.
  • Appropriate oversight and accountability for health and safety compliance and security risks.
  • To share responsibility for out of hours national and global media enquiries.
  • Assisting with tailored replies in conjunction with the correspondence team.
  • To support and participate in the life of prayer at Bishopthorpe Palace.

All staff working at the Archbishop of York’s office 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.

The Requirements



  • Educated to a degree standard or equivalent.
  • Theologically literate.
  • Exceptional leadership and management skills, with the ability to inspire, motivate and empower staff within a politically complex setting.
  • Demonstrable intellectual achievement and ability to think at a conceptual and strategic level.
  • Able to work collaboratively across organisational and sector boundaries, while demonstrating both sound judgement and independence of mind.
  • High intellectual capacity with strong analytical abilities, able to assimilate and analyse information quickly, identifying issues and priorities.
  • Efficient and especially with an eye for detail and implementation. The senior team is strong on vision and needs detail and implementation.
  • Evidence of successfully operating at senior management level in a fast moving and complex multiple stakeholder environment.
  • Proven experience of using strong, inspirational leadership to improve the performance of an organisation of at least similar size and complexity, with a strong record of achievement in management change.
  • Commitment to the Archbishop of York’s ministry.
  • Experience of working under pressure, both independently and collaboratively.
  • Proven administrative ability. Well organised, methodical and excellent in assessing priorities. Able to work quickly and efficiently under pressure, prioritising multiple tasks and meeting deadlines.
  • Excellent working knowledge of the Church of England, its internal structures and systems and of the Anglican Communion.
  • Grasp of contemporary political, ecclesiastical and ethical issues, national and international and the ability to spot the implications for the Archbishop’s ministry.
  • Ability to maintain a high degree of confidentiality.

Personal Attributes

  • Leading by example, demonstrating enthusiastic commitment to the ministry and priorities of the Archbishop and the Church of England, and an understanding that the purpose of working for the Archbishop in this role is to serve the Kingdom of God.
  • Possessing a high level of personal credibility and a natural authority, a person who engages and commands the confidence and respect of others quickly.
  • A natural alliance builder with a flexible approach to working with other groups and organisations and to sharing resources and information.
  • Strong personal commitment to equalities and diversity in employment and service delivery, with a caring and respectful attitude to staff.
  • A strong visionary and strategic operator, who can balance the strategic with the detailed when necessary.
  • A positive team member who contributes, supports and leads as the situation requires, in order to maximise the effectiveness of the team’s work.
  • At home in the digital world and sufficiently used to working effectively and securely with cloud based information sharing.



  • Evidence of building high-value relationships with a range of external partners to achieve organisational objectives.
  • Evidence of effective organisational development; track record of harnessing the strengths and potential of staff at all levels of the organisation; maintaining and motivating a senior team.
  • Experience of drafting policy briefs, business plans, and occasional material for speeches.
  • Experience of researching and drafting papers, particularly but not exclusively in relation to theological material.
  • Previous experience of coordinating the work of senior staff colleagues.

Personal Attributes:

  • Able to lead peers without necessarily having line management responsibility for them.
  • Possessing excellent problem-solving skills and the ability to relate effectively to complex situations and organisations; able to think laterally and creatively.
  • Strong political acumen and comfortable working with uncertainty and ambiguity.


  • Willingness and availability to work outside normal office hours including weekends, on occasion.
  • This role may require some national and international travel, occasionally to higher risk locations. All travel for the Archbishop and his team, is undertaken on the most cost-effective basis possible.
  • We would welcome applicants from any Christian background and/or a variety of Christian life experiences, including those of long-standing, or a more recent commitment to their faith. This post carries an occupational requirement to be a practicing Christian (in accordance with the Equality Act 2010).
  • This role is subject to an Enhanced with Barring DBS check

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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.