Personal Assistant (1.0 or 0.8 fte) to the Bishop of Truro

This job has now expired
Truro
Employee
£26, 400 per annum (pro rata for less than 35 hours)

An exciting opportunity has arisen for an experienced Personal Assistant to deliver effective and professional administrative support as the primary point of contact to the Diocesan Bishop for his diary planning and correspondence. Working under the oversight of the Bishop’s Senior Executive Assistant/Office Manager you will also work with colleagues to support the smooth running of various key functions of the Bishop and Suffragan Bishops’ offices.

You will have previous experience working as a PA or similar, excellent knowledge and experience of Microsoft Office applications and excellent diary management skills. You will be a capable self-starter with good interpersonal and diplomatic skills, have sympathy for the faith, worship and mission of the Church of England and a passion to serve others.

We are a small, friendly, busy team based in beautiful surroundings next to the Bishop’s official residence on the outskirts of Truro. During the pandemic the office has been closed for long periods due to the national lockdowns with staff working remotely, however we are looking forward to the office slowly becoming fully functional once more. This post will be based in the office, although we will consider some home working flexibility for the right candidate in agreement with Bishop Philip and his Senior Executive Assistant to suit office needs; currently all staff work remotely on Fridays.

This post is for a minimum 28 hour week, up to 35 hours per week. Due to the nature of this role and the demands on the Bishop’s time and office, if 28 hours are agreed with the successful applicant, our clear preference would be for them to be worked over 5 days. This will be discussed further at interview.

Interview Date: 11 August 2021

We will ensure that proceedings are fully Covid-19 compliant and guidelines will be followed for everyone’s safety. We are happy to reimburse travel expenses.

Due to the uncertainty of any future Covid-19 restrictions or guidance the shortlisting process, interviews and time frames may be subject to change. As much notice as possible will be given to minimise any inconvenience.

Diary Management and Personal Support:

To oversee the planning and management of the Bishop of Truro’s diary and offer him personal support including:

  • Booking appointments and events, ensuring the accuracy of the information recorded and shared across the Bishop’s office team and with the Bishop and booking in necessary preparation time.
  • Responding to meeting requests and event invitations and liaising with other offices in relation to the Bishop’s attendance and other requirements.
  • Organising practical arrangements for visits and meetings.
  • Ensuring that the Bishop has all necessary paperwork, information and briefings as required in advance of his daily programme, liaising with other members of the Bishop’s office staff, the Bishop’s Staff Team, Diocesan staff and external people and organisations as necessary.
  • Planning and organising the Bishop’s travel and accommodation arrangements in the UK and (once regulations allow) abroad, as & when required
  • Planning the Bishop’s visits to parishes and other communities, liaising with parish clergy and offices and obtaining service information forms and draft orders of service for approval by the Senior Executive Assistant or Bishop.
  • Planning the ‘fixed dates’ in the Bishop’s / Diocesan calendar in conjunction with the Assistant Diocesan Secretary, the PA to the Bishop of St Germans and if required the Senior Executive Assistant.
  • Liaising with the Bishop’s spouse around events, as necessary, especially when use of the dining room or other areas of the property might be required.

Welcome and Hospitality:

  • Welcoming all visitors and ensuring the provision of catering for meetings and events, as appropriate, in conjunction with the PA to the Bishop of St Germans if applicable. (These circumstances will return in the near future when the office becomes fully functional again following long closures due to national lockdowns).
  • Working under the oversight of the Senior Executive Assistant and with colleagues in the Bishop’s Office and the Bishop’s spouse to co-ordinate hospitality and events, including the preparation of guest lists and invitations and liaising with caterers and other suppliers.

General Administration:

  • To be the first point of contact for incoming mail, email and phone calls, noting any major issues that the Bishop is dealing with so as to be well informed in the case of telephone or email inquiries, taking the initiative to re-direct enquiries, respond appropriately, obtain further information or refer more complex matters to the Senior Executive Assistant.
  • Manage the Bishop’s emails and where possible deal with them personally or pass on to the most appropriate person to respond to, refer to the Senior Executive Assistant or leave for the Bishop to reply fully to or read in due course.
  • Work with colleagues in the Bishop’s office to maintain an effective and comprehensive filing system in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
  • Maintain the Bishop’s travel log as requested.
  • To deputise for the Senior Executive Assistant in administrative matters in her absence where there is a need, including minute taking or processing Clergy Current Status Letters.
  • To draft responses to correspondence (whether in their own name or the Bishop’s name), and liaising with the Senior Executive Assistant and the Bishop to draft responses to more complex matters or refer to the Senior Executive Assistant.

Work with the PA to the Bishop of St Germans:

  • To ensure safeguarding records are updated once training is completed.
  • To ensure cards are appropriately sent out (general Christmas cards and clergy birthday cards).

Appointments:

Working in partnership with the Senior Executive Assistant and with the support of the PA to the Bishop of St Germans ensure:

  • The issuing of offer letters
  • Appropriate steps are taken regarding DBS and safeguarding
  • Granting of Permission to Officiate
  • The management of clergy Personal Files, to ensure they are kept up to date and compliant
  • The maintenance of the database
  • The issuing of exit letters and deeds of resignation
  • Announcements of appointments and resignations

Special Services:

Working under the oversight of the Senior Executive Assistant and in partnership with the PA to the Bishop of St Germans:

  • Liaise with parishes and the Cathedral in the planning and administration of confirmations
  • Oversee the planning of ordinations and the ordination service including:
    • The issuing of appointment letters
    • The planning of the ordination retreat in association with the Diocesan Director of Ordinands
    • The purchase of Bibles for ordinands and planning the ordination lunch
    • Liaising with the Registry regarding the issuing of licenses
  • Manage correspondence regarding the Chrism Eucharist
  • Manage nominations, planning and administration of the Cross of St Piran and Maundy services

The ideal candidate should be/have:

Essential

Skills/Aptitudes:

  • IT proficient with experience of using MS Word, Outlook and Excel, as well as a networked computer system.
  • Well-presented work with an accurate eye for detail.
  • Good communication skills, both verbal and written, including a confident telephone manner.
  • The ability to draft accurate letters independently.
  • Good interpersonal and diplomatic skills.
  • Well organised, methodical and the ability to cope with conflicting priorities.
  • The ability to work calmly under pressure.
  • Flexible and able to adapt plans quickly in response to change.
  • The ability to organise own workload, to set priorities and to work to deadlines.
  • Be able to take on responsibility and accountability for tasks and actions.
  • Strong team working skills.

Knowledge/Experience:

  • Proven previous experience in a senior administrative role.
  • A good command of English (including accurate spelling and punctuation).
  • Have sympathy for the faith, worship and mission of the Church of England.

Personal Attributes:

  • The ability to relate to people at all levels and work well collaboratively in a team.
  • The ability to apply understanding, judgement and, due to the confidential nature of much of the work, discretion.
  • Creative and solution-orientated.
  • Due to the nature of the work there needs to be a willingness to work occasional additional hours with sufficient notice, to cover for sickness, holidays etc and by agreement some occasional out of hours work for major functions, for which time off in lieu will be given.

Desirable

Skills/Aptitudes:

  • Experience of managing a senior person’s diary and in a similar role.

Knowledge/Experience:

  • Knowledge and experience of the systems, structures and terminology of the Church of England.
  • A personal Christian faith and passion to contribute to and engage in fellowship with others.

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.