Bishops’ Chaplain, Adviser and Office Manager

This job has now expired
Wells, Somerset
£30,078 per annum plus housing allowance

The Diocese of Bath and Wells is a family of churches and schools across 500 parishes. We seek to live and tell the story of Jesus as we love and serve the 900,000 people of episcopal Somerset.

The Acting Diocesan Bishop, Bishop Ruth Worsley wishes to appoint a chaplain to:

  • To assist and advise the Bishops in their function
  • To provide spiritual support to the Bishops through prayer and encouragement
  • To line-manage and support the Bishops’ support staff and oversee their work
  • To help shape the visions, values, mission policies and strategies of the Diocese
  • To act as both gatekeeper and a bridge-builder from the Bishops’ Office to the Diocese and Cathedral

The diocese is currently in a vacancy for a diocesan bishop. Bishop Ruth is leading the diocese through a challenging time of change, especially in the light of the pandemic. The Bishop’s role is to lead the diocese in mission and ministry and to provide episcopal oversight and care to the people of Somerset.

The start date for the role is early November. For more information, please visit

Interviews will be held on Wednesday 4th August 2021

The Bishops’ Office is part of the larger Bishop’s Palace site, the majority of which is administered by the Palace Trust as a heritage and visitor attraction.

  • The Bishop of Bath and Wells and partner will live on-site in an apartment on the first floor, above the offices.
  • The Palace Pastor, Revd Rosey Lunn and her husband Tim live in a flat on the upper floor.
  • Bishop Ruth and her husband, Howard, live in Wells about a mile away from the offices.

The Bishops’ Chaplain is responsible for the line management and day-to-day operations of the office team. There is an office team of three people with responsibilities for Bishops’ PA, Diaries and Finance; Welcome, Administration & Volunteer PA; and Bishops’ and Chaplain’s PA for Correspondence.

The Palace Pastor is a House for Duty post under a Bishop’s Mission Order. The Palace Pastor has a ministry to the Bishops, Bishops’ Office staff, Palace Trust staff, volunteers and visitors, and is responsible for the Bishop’s Chapel. She is also the key liaison person between the Bishops’ Office and the Palace Trust.

The Bishop’s Palace is next-door to Wells Cathedral and a short walk (15 mins) from the Diocesan Office.

The main responsibilities for this role are:

  • Act, as required, as the Bishops’ personal representative with individuals, with parishes, at particular events/meetings, on task groups within the Diocese and with representatives of the wider communities in the diocese.
  • To engage with public theology and advise the Bishops concerning matters of mission and theology.
  • Assist the Bishops with daily routine matters, including contact - face to face, by telephone, email, zoom, Microsoft teams and correspondence - over matters of a pastoral, theological, liturgical and disciplinary nature. This includes drafting letters in the Bishops’ name which may have particular sensitivities, and responding in their own name to letters addressed to the Bishops where appropriate. Other correspondence is handled by the Correspondence PA. Some PA assistance and support for the Chaplain is provided in the Bishops’ Office by the Bishops’ and Chaplain’s PA for Correspondence
  • Lead the Bishops’ office team, sometimes known as the Bishops’ Ministry Support team (BMST) in their twice weekly office team meetings. The BMST meets each Monday for a Bishops’ diary review and on another day of the week (Wed/Thurs) for ongoing work review. The Monday meeting is attended by the Bishops. Oversee their workloads and responsibilities of the three PA members of staff. Develop and support each member of staff through occasional 1:1 meetings and help to build and maintain a ‘team approach’ within the Bishops’ Office. Carry out annual Performance Development Reviews with the staff to help them maximize their contribution to the work of the Bishops and their own personal development. Be available for individual discussions. Organise induction of new staff and suggest/provide training opportunities where appropriate.
  • Ensure that office procedures are fit for purpose and properly implemented including IT, telephony, H&S and cleaning.
  • Liaise with the Registry with regard to ordinations; the issue of licences; and other legal documents.
  • Act as the Bishop’s Data Protection Compliance Officer for ensuring that the provisions of the GDPR Act 2018 are followed; this includes processing subject access requests, maintaining and ordering clergy blue files, and providing advice to the Bishop as necessary.
  • Share with the Bishops in worship.
  • Liaise with the Dean and the Precentor in relation to episcopal services in the Cathedral and with parochial clergy in relation to services at which a Bishop will preside in parish churches and chapels. Prepare the Bishops’ orders of service where necessary and check draft orders prepared by parishes.
  • Act as confidant and pastor to the Bishops, providing priestly counsel and spiritual support to the Bishops in their own ministry; praying constantly for the Bishops and often with them.
  • Be available as someone to whom the Bishops can talk in complete confidence.

Please see application pack attached for full details of main responsibilities

The person appointed will:

  • Be episcopally ordained in the Church of England or a Church in full Communion with it. This means an ordained Anglican cleric who can conduct worship on behalf of the Bishop and administer all sacraments appropriate to the Church of England. This post has attached to it a genuine occupational requirement under the 2010 Equality Act, Part 1, Schedule 9.
  • Be Educated to degree level.
  • Have a lively and robust intellect and be theologically well qualified (a higher level degree in theology would be an advantage but is not essential); be able to relate theology to the mission of the Church and issues of contemporary culture and society.
  • Be mature in outlook with a deep and secure faith with a rich pattern of daily worship and well-established spiritual discipline.

Please see application pack attached for full details of the persons specification

Non-clergy staff will be automatically enrolled into the in the Pension Builder 2014 Pension Plan (PB2014) in line with legislation unless they choose to opt out. Clergy already in the Church of England Funded Pensions Scheme (CEFPS) will have the option of either remaining in this scheme or joining the PB2014 scheme.

Bishops Staff have an income protection insurance arrangement. To be eligible for cover under this policy an employee must be a member of the (PB2014) scheme. Please note that insurance cover is not necessarily automatic, and that underwriting may be required by the schemes in some instances (for example if you do not join the scheme at the first available opportunity or opt out of the scheme and subsequently re-join). Cover will be subject to any terms and conditions laid down by the insurance company.

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

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.