This is a unique opportunity for a professional and experienced Personal Assistant to provide PA support to the Bishops of Stockport and Birkenhead.
In this crucial and varied role, you will be dealing proactively with correspondence and enquiries and ensuring that the Bishops are well informed about issues and well prepared for meetings.
Responsibilities will include:
Running and resourcing the Bishops’ Offices both remotely and in person
Organising the Bishops’ diaries, working with their priorities, and when necessary protecting them from themselves and other’s demands
Proactively ensuring that everything that is needed to facilitate the ministry of the Bishops is at hand.
Working collaboratively with the other team members, you will ensure efficient working practices and a flexible approach to a varied and constantly changing role. In order to facilitate and enable shared work as a team across three sites, it is anticipated that the wider administrative team will work together in the Chester office, travelling to Prenton and Dunham Massey as required.
To be successful, you will need a calm and confident approach, proven administrative competence, exceptional interpersonal and organisational skills, as well as extensive experience with office systems and the Microsoft Office Suite.
Interviews will be held on the 28th July 2021.
Oversee the smooth running of the Bishops’ office, providing an efficient administrative and PA support to the Bishops of Stockport and Birkenhead, including:
Facilitating or attending meetings and events that are part of the Bishops’ ministry, as agreed with the Bishops, including the annual cycle of Ministry Reviews.
Using own initiative in responding to telephone enquiries – providing information, using judgement in directing calls and ensuring that appropriate information is brought to the Bishops’ attention.
Taking a proactive approach towards managing the Bishops’ diary and schedule, within the programme agreed.
Managing those parts of the administrative process of vacancies and appointments which fall within the remit of the office of the Bishops of Stockport and Birkenhead.
Organising and maintaining filing systems.
Ensuring files are maintained in compliance with GDPR requirements.
Ensuring that the Bishops have all necessary paperwork in advance of meetings/engagements.
Making arrangements for the Bishops’ travel, booking trains, hotels, and other things as required including providing maps and directions.
Facilitating replenishment of stationery stocks.
Liaising with those maintaining the fabric of both Bishop’s Lodges (Prenton and Dunham Massey).
To take an active part as a member of the wider Bishops’ Office Team across the three offices, sharing the flexibility and mutual cover of this team.
The Bishops’ administrative team will be based at Bishop’s House in Chester. Administrative staff will work from this site unless required at Bishop’s Lodge Prenton or Bishop’s Lodge Dunham Massey. Support staff will share tasks and ensure that they can cover for each other as needed.
To promote collaboration and to work closely with colleagues in Bishop’s House and Church House.
To welcome visitors to Bishop’s House (Chester) or the Bishop’s Lodges (Prenton and Dunham Massey) and ensure that they are dealt with in a polite and courteous manner whether they visit in person or digitally.
To assist where necessary in the making and serving of refreshments to visitors.
All staff working for and with the Bishops of the Diocese of Chester will give proper care and attention to matters of safeguarding, including attending training, careful handling of confidential information, and proper reporting of disclosures.
To ensure that sensitive information is stored in a suitable, confidential manner and that all confidential matters are respected.
Liaising with the member of staff whose role it is to attend to all aspects of hospitality, and occasionally work ‘out of hours’ to assist with large events.
Managerial / Administrative
To maintain and update relevant databases and keep all records in accordance with the GDPR requirements.
To process all correspondence arriving in the Bishops’ officse in a timely manner. To take action where necessary, producing draft replies, standard replies and holding letters as necessary.
Maintaining the financial records for the Bishops’ offices, including:
Managing the Bishops’ working expenses using good judgement.
Making general decisions about the budget and have accountability for spending where the Bishop is the signatory.
Being familiar with the “Global Budgets” financial system for budgeting and monitoring of the expenses required to run the Bishop’s offices (including maintenance of spreadsheets recording expenditure and budgets for the Church Commissioners and Quarterly Returns).
Managing other funds held by the Bishops.
Using own initiative in generating standard letters following the agreed process for each.
Responding to enquiries and emails from the local and national media, in liaison with the Bishop’s Chaplain and the Director of Communications.
To undertake duties relating to the national Church of England, including the collation of all papers and making the logistical arrangements for the Bishops’ work relating to General Synod, the House of Bishops, College of Bishops and any other national and regional meetings and bodies to which the Bishops belong.
Administer the arrangements for the Bishops attending services and engagements, including:
Collaborating with the wider Bishops’ Office Team to arrange the annual pattern of episcopal visits.
Requesting information re services and engagements prior to the event (referring liturgical enquiries to the Bishops and / or the Bishop’s Chaplain and forwarding draft service sheets for information/comment).
Preparing service sheets/invitation letters/responses for diocesan services, as required.
Undertaking the administration for confirmation services and other special services.
Providing annual statistics of confirmation services and other services as needed.
Essential skills and attributes:
Show maturity in outlook, being at ease with themselves, comfortable working around issues of Christian faith, and emotionally intelligent.
Work with the team to understand the Bishops’ thinking, and act accordingly in a timely manner using sound judgement and their own imagination and initiative.
Excellent communication skills.
While seeing the bigger picture, work with accurate attention to detail.
Flexible approach to work requirements, particularly in terms of office coverage and duties commensurate with assisting the Bishops to carry forward their work and ministry.
Calm under pressure.
Ability to work productively unsupervised and as a lone worker.
Demonstrates an ability to prioritise effectively.
Welcome, serve and care for those who interact with the Bishops and maintain a working environment conducive to a Bishop’s home and office.
Sympathy with the aims and objectives of the Church of England.
Proven excellent interpersonal skills applicable to daily complex liaison with clergy, colleagues and the public on the telephone, digitally, and face-to-face.
Maintain total confidentiality and discretion in all sensitive matters, able to recognise and refer safeguarding matters correctly.
High standard of literacy and numeracy.
An ability to be accurate and precise, sometimes under deadline pressure, paying close attention to detail.
Proven secretarial skills including accurate typing, filing and general administration, including skills in data handling and record keeping, both digital and conventional.
Competent user of IT ensuring skills are kept up to date, including an excellent knowledge of Microsoft Office and the ability to arrange online meetings using virtual platforms.
Ability to attend the different offices as required.
The Diocese of Chester is in the province of York in the Church of England, part of the global Anglican Communion. We are linked with the Anglican Church of Melanesia in the Solomon Islands and the Dioceses of Aru and Boga in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Church of England comprises two Provinces, Canterbury and York. Each province is broken down into dioceses. There are 41 in England (42 including the Diocese in Europe).