Executive Legal Officer

This job has now expired
Bishopthorpe, York
Competitive salary commensurate with the role/responsibilities

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.

We would welcome applications from candidates with legal experience perhaps working as a legal graduate/paralegal or with experience of working in a regulatory environment. Communication, written and verbal, is key to this role as is a high level of attention to detail.

This post offers an excellent opportunity to work in a friendly and busy office, in unusual and pleasant surroundings. The employees at Bishopthorpe Palace work as a small and close-knit team and support each other at busy periods with flexibility and good humour.

As Executive Legal Officer, you will support the Archbishop of York on a number of his most important metropolitical functions, including clergy discipline and Canon C4 processes, which concern obtaining a faculty granted by the Archbishops. In addition, you will provide support to the Archbishop’s team in other areas of legislation such as data protection policies and procedures.

The Clergy Discipline Measure (CDM) is the Church of England’s legislation which deals with any misconduct by clergy. By its nature, this inevitably brings a high degree of sensitivity and confidentiality to the job, and will require you to keep up to date with the main requirements of the Measure, Rules and Code of Practice. You will liaise with the Archbishop of York on CDM cases and make the necessary administrative arrangements, including research and preparation of correspondence and briefing papers and communicating, as necessary, with employees connected with CDM issues within the Church of England.

In addition, you will liaise with the Archbishop of York regarding applications for Canon C4 faculties received from Diocesan Bishops in the Northern Province.

A basic DBS check will be required.

The normal hours of work are 28 hours per week however the working arrangements are open to negotiation.

For an informal conversation please contact office@archbishopofyork.org

A comprehensive and supportive induction programme will be put in place to ensure that you have all the information, access and contacts required to settle in quickly and excel in this role.

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

Clergy Discipline Measure 2003 (CDM)

  • Responsible for the provision of senior administrative support to the Archbishop of York on the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003 (CDM).
  • In accordance with the Measure, responsible for supplying information and entries for the Archbishops’ List to Lambeth Palace who compile the list of all those in Holy Orders on whom a penalty of censure has been imposed, and for keeping cases from the Northern Province under review and dealing with any related correspondence or administrative work.
  • Responsible for the creation and maintenance of the CDM bring-forward and diary system, the weekly update list and various databases within MS Excel, ensuring information is kept up to date whilst maintaining a high level of confidentiality.
  • Responsible for creating and maintaining the CDM personnel files, working with their PA to retrieve papers relevant to the CDM matters they are dealing with.
  • Responsible for the provision of advice and administrative support to the Archbishop in respect of those who have completed their Limited Prohibition from ministry.
  • To work under the direction of safeguarding professionals to develop systems to plan and manage work which interfaces with the CDM and arises from past case reviews.
  • To remain alert to safeguarding issues that may arise within CDM complaints, liaising with safeguarding staff and giving consideration to the needs of victims/survivors of abuse.
  • To attend CDM meetings and oversee minutes/agendas as appropriate.
  • Responsible for liaising with the CDM Pastors and Assessors about cases for referral to them. This includes overseeing and maintaining a record of names and contact details, considering replacements as necessary and noting when training is required – either for new members of the team of Pastors for York Diocese and Assessors for the Northern Province, or because of changed or new legislation. Responsible for the development and delivery, as necessary, of training in respect of these roles.
  • Responsible for keeping up to date with the main requirements of the CDM Measure, Rules and Code of Practice.
  • Responsible for engaging fully with the emerging work of the revised CDM process, and participating in any further development discussions.
  • To liaise closely with relevant staff at Lambeth Palace to ensure consistency of approach regarding the handling of CDM cases and processes across both Provinces of the Church of England.

Clergy (Ordination) Measure 1990

  • In accordance with the Clergy (Ordination) Measure 1990, to oversee the processing of applications for faculties to allow those who are divorced and remarried to be ordained, notwithstanding the impediment imposed by Canon C4.
  • Where necessary, responsible for assessing applications and advising the Archbishop accordingly.
  • In general, responsible for advising the Archbishop, Bishops and Diocesan Directors of Ordinands (DDOs) with regard to the candidates for ordination who need faculties.
  • Responsible for the processing and advising on requests from members of Religious Communities and Church of England clergy for release from their vows.
  • To keep up to date with the main requirements of the Clergy (Ordination) Measure 1990 and associated Code of Practice.

Overseas Permissions

Responsible for reviewing Overseas Permission requests prior to submission to the Archbishop for signature, and for liaising with the Registrar and relevant Diocesan or Suffragan Bishops where appropriate.

Data Protection Lead

With the advice and support of the Registrar and NCI Data Protection Officer (DPO) and, in conjunction with the Office Manager, responsible for the implementation of data protection processes in line with NCI policies and procedures to include, but not limited to:

  • Implementing NCI data protection policies and procedures.
  • Ensuring that relevant data protection processes are in place, such as privacy notices.
  • Being the first point of contact for the ICO and for individuals whose data is processed – fulfilling information rights’ requests (SARs etc.), with advice from the Registrar and Data Protection Officer, and ensuring responses are accurate, compliant and timely.
  • Supporting members of the Bishopthorpe team in the processing of SARs, liaising with the Registrar as appropriate, and ensuring required deadlines are met, in accordance with data protection legislation.
  • Informing and providing advice about the obligations to comply with the UK GDPR and other data protection laws.
  • Monitoring compliance with the UK GDPR and other data protection laws, and with the office data protection polices, including managing internal data protection activities, raising awareness of data protection issues, training staff and conducting internal audits.
  • Supporting staff to undertake data protection impact assessments with the help of the DPO.
  • Ensuring that accurate records are kept of requests, responses, disclosures and exemptions and associated correspondence, in accordance with data protection legislation.
  • Keeping up to date with statute law, case law and practice relating to information rights legislation, including participating in in-house seminars and external events.

Additional Responsibilities

  • Responsible for providing occasional support on other formal and informal disciplinary and legal matters that fall to the Archbishop of York.
  • To undertake safeguarding training commensurate with the role.

All employees 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



  • Excellent knowledge of IT: experience using MS Word, Excel, Publisher, Outlook, with good working knowledge of the mail-merge function and a networked computer system.
  • Proven experience of handling work that requires an eye for detail, with an exceptional level of accuracy.
  • Sense of responsibility that the work issued is of a consistently high standard with fast response times.
  • Proven ability to maintain the highest degree of confidentiality and to work with a can-do attitude.
  • Exceptional judgement in understanding and dealing with urgent and complex matters across a wide range of issues.
  • Experience of drafting and preparing correspondence, briefs, papers and other material.
  • Proficient communication and presentation skills, both oral and written, including a professional and approachable telephone manner, as contacts are at the highest level.
  • Good interpersonal and diplomatic skills. The post holder will need the ability to deal with people at all levels and from all walks of life with sensitivity, courtesy and appropriate firmness, as required.
  • Exceptionally well-organised and methodical, with the ability to prioritise tasks. A self-starter, able to use initiative and good judgement, with an ability to quickly assimilate large amounts of complex information and disseminate in a clear and concise fashion.
  • Proven ability to work calmly under pressure and to cope with conflicting priorities.
  • Fast and extremely accurate typing is required to manage the typing content involved in this position.
  • Ability to work collaboratively and as a member of a team.
  • Ability to advise colleagues at Bishopthorpe, the wider Church of England and members of the public accurately and effectively across a wide range of complex topics.
  • Ability to keep the Archbishop of York fully briefed at all times.


  • Knowledge of ecclesiastical legal matters, or the proven ability to quickly develop the knowledge required to deal efficiently with this complex brief.
  • Experience of dealing with a wide range of people in the course of work, including those at senior level and members of the public.
  • An interest in, and knowledge of, the work of the Archbishop’s ministry and the work and structures of the Church of England generally.
  • Experience of working in a legal environment, as a legal executive or equivalent.
  • Previous experience of working with information of a high degree of confidentiality.


  • Relevant professional qualification or demonstrable experience in a similar role.
  • This role is subject to a basic DBS check.


  • Awareness of, and interest in, national and international politics and societal issues.
  • Experience of handling a legal brief, or a brief of similar complexity of that of the post holder.
  • Knowledge of the Church of England and its structures.

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..