Senior Personal Assistant to the Bishop of Sheffield

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The Bishop of Sheffield

The Bishop of Sheffield oversees and leads the life of the Diocese and has a significant civic role in the City and region. In addition, the Bishop has major national responsibilities in the Church of England.

The Bishop works from his official residence Bishopscroft, and is assisted in the Diocese by the Bishop of Doncaster, two Archdeacons and the Diocesan Secretary.

The Bishop is also supported in his role by his small and friendly team comprising a Personal Assistant, the Bishop’s Chaplain, an Administrative Assistant and a Gardener/Driver. Based at Bishopscroft, the team work from a busy office in a pleasant and unique environment.

This is an excellent opportunity for a proactive and organised professional to provide vital support to the Bishop, assisting with forward planning, diary management and the smooth running of the systems and processes.

You will manage the Bishop’s office including his correspondence (paper and email) and provide general assistance to the Bishop in the exercising of his ministry.

Interviews will be held on the 30th July 2018

Providing efficient personal assistant support to the Bishop of Sheffield

  • Advanced planning and management of the bishop's diary
  • Organising all appointments and providing practical briefings about the arrangements made for all visits and meetings
  • Preparing the bishop's papers for all meetings and maintaining an efficient system for tracking papers
  • Planning and organising the bishop’s travel arrangements in the UK and abroad
  • Dealing promptly with all incoming correspondence and drafting replies
  • Receiving and dealing with all emails in the PA's inbox and that of the Bishop
  • Opening and allocating incoming post and dealing with letters where appropriate
  • Handling a wide range of telephone enquiries with confidence, diplomacy, and tact – answering questions directly or passing them on to the Bishop or Chaplain or other appropriate source of information
  • To oversee the Disclosure and Barring procedure required for all those holding the Bishop’s Licence and the process of the three-year renewal programme
  • To oversee the smooth running of the system for responding to enquires regarding the Bishop’s Permission to Officiate and maintaining up to date lists of those currently holding the Bishop’s PTO.

General oversight and running of the Bishop's Office

  • Welcoming all visitors and arranging catering as necessary
  • Ensuring that the office is kept tidy and all necessary equipment is purchased and maintained
  • Daily filing and overseeing the management of all paper and computerised filing systems
  • Organising the archiving of papers as appropriate
  • Ensuring that the office database is kept up to date
  • To be present at some meetings and at the bishop’s direction to take notes
  • Delegation of work to the Administrative Assistant


  • Managing a budget in excess of £100K and dealing with all day to day financial matters including the bishop’s expenses
  • Managing the day to day running of all bank accounts held by the bishop in his corporate capacity
  • Transferring money, making payments and keeping records as required
  • Administering the Bishop’s Official Expenses account
  • Administering the Bishop’s Discretionary account
  • Applying for grants from various funds, including the Lady Hastings Charity, by preparing applications, organising and recording all monies received and providing reports to the charities on how the monies was used
  • With the advice of the bishop and his Senior Staff, allocate holiday grants and prepare cheques for signing and posting out

Management of Bishopscroft

  • Payment of all household bills including regular review of Utility Providers
  • Liaison with Church Commissioners’ Agent concerning all upkeep and repairs
  • Make arrangements for convenient appointments for servicing and any work required
  • Maintaining the house inventory


  • Planning and organising catering for a range of social events each year, including the annual civic dinner and fundraising suppers

Supporting the work of the Diocese

  • Organising the programme of ministerial development reviews required for all clergy on a two-year cycle. Maintaining the database and the collating and filing of all reviews
  • Organising the recruitment process for all senior appointments in the Diocese, including the advertising of posts and the logistics of all meetings and interviews
  • Distributing information and organising arrangements for Deanery Days across the Diocese

Civic Visits

  • Planning and organising a programme of visits to individuals, institutions, workplaces and events across the region with a focus on extending the reach and mission of the Church
  • Responding to all invitations for the bishop to attend civic events and meetings outside the Church

National Church

  • Collating all papers and making the logistical arrangements for the Bishop’s work related to General Synod, the House of Bishops, College of Bishops, the Archbishops’ Council and any other national and regional meetings

House of Lords (when and if appropriate)

  • Managing all papers relating to the Bishop’s role in the House of Lords
  • Liaising with the Parliamentary Office on the Bishop’s role in the House of Lords

Line Management

  • Line management and development of the Administrative Assistant

Qualifications / Education / Experience

  • Previous PA and administrative experience reporting to a senior manager
  • Finance management and book keeping
  • Must be able to handle confidential information
  • Experienced in dealing with people at all levels
  • Ability to prioritise effectively
  • Educated to degree standard or with relevant secretarial qualifications and equivalent work experience

Knowledge, Skills, Attributes

  • In sympathy with the vision, aims and objectives of the Church of England and the Diocese of Sheffield
  • The ability to understand and apply the priorities of the Bishop’s ministry when allocating diary appointments
  • Well presented work with a meticulous eye for detail
  • Ability to show initiative and work with minimal or no supervision
  • Excellent communication skills both oral and written, including a competent and friendly telephone manner
  • Good interpersonal and diplomatic skills with the ability to deal with people from all walks of life with courtesy and on occasion appropriate firmness
  • Ability to maintain a high degree of confidentiality and handle sensitive issues with discretion
  • Well organised, methodical and the ability to manage competing priorities
  • Ability to work calmly under pressure and meet deadlines
  • Ability to work independently and as a member of a team and the wider household
  • Competent in use of Microsoft Office including Word, Excel and PowerPoint
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Access with evidence of previous experience of maintaining a database within an office environment
  • Excellent word processing skills from manuscript and audio
  • Good literacy and numeracy skills

Desirable requirements:

  • Detailed knowledge of the Church of England, its structures and practices
  • Understanding and interest in the Bishop of Sheffield’s ministry

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.

We are committed to building a culturally diverse workforce. As part of this commitment, we welcome applications from people, regardless of their background. As a Disability Confident committed employer, it is important to note that there may be occasions where it is not practical or appropriate to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria* due to high volume. We limit the amount of interviews conducted to five applicants per open post we advertise.

*Where applicable depending on post requirements.