Social Policy Adviser to the Bishop of Leicester

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£32,500 pro rata

Founded in 1926, Leicester is one of the youngest dioceses in England. The present Bishop, the Rt Revd Martyn Snow, was welcomed in May 2016. We are a “rural diocese with urban heartlands”. The boundary of the Diocese is almost coterminous with the county of Leicestershire which has a total population of just over one million people. The county is diverse, including urban, ex-mining towns and deep rural. There are areas of significant poverty as well as some areas of considerable wealth.

Leicester city was one of the first majority BAME cities in the country. The 2011 census revealed that Leicester residents hail from over 50 countries from across the globe, making the city one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse places in the UK. The city is also proud that it is now known around the world for football and for King Richard III.

The Diocese is divided into two archdeaconries, broadly covering the west and east of the county. 244 parishes are served by 120 stipendiary and 50 self-supporting clergy, 163 Readers. In addition, 40 licensed pioneers are developing fresh expressions of churches. There are also 97 Church of England schools and academies.

Leicester Cathedral is located in the heritage quarter of the city and works closely with the Bishop and the Diocesan Boards of Finance and Education, notably through the neighboring St Martins House. This award-winning centre was opened in 2011 in a refurbished former school building as a focus for mission and administration for the diocese. In 2019 St Martins Lodge was added – a 28 room hotel. And the ‘Cathedral Gardens’ area also includes the Community of the Tree of Life - a house of prayer and new monastic community for young adults.

The St Philip’s Centre was founded in 2006 and is the focus the diocese’ interfaith work. The vision of this ecumenical centre is to help communities live well together. Launde Abbey is the diocesan retreat centre on the eastern border of the diocese. It is run jointly with the Diocese of Peterborough and has a growing national reputation.

The Diocesan Vision and Strategy

Our vision is the kingdom of God and therefore we seek to be a church which is ‘a sign, instrument and foretaste’ of the kingdom of God.

Our strategy is focused on ‘Everyday Faith’ (another way of describing discipleship) and this is worked out through ‘local decision making within a diocesan-wide framework’ (which includes safeguarding as a statutory responsibility and core part of our mission). The bishops are asking all ministers and churches to frame their ministry in response to Three Key Questions:

  • Question 1: How are you growing, and enabling others to grow in the depth of their discipleship?
  • Question 2: How are you enabling growth in the numbers of disciples of Jesus?
  • Question 3: How are you serving your community, and enabling others to serve those around them?

In addition to the three key questions, we are working with Five Strategic Priorities:

  1. New communities – establishing as many fresh expressions of church (including church plants) as there are inherited churches (our SDF funded Resourcing Churches programme is one part of this priority).
  2. Intercultural communities – growing our numbers of BAME ministers and intentionally learning from different cultures (our SDF funded Intercultural Worshipping Communities programme is one part of this priority).
  3. Intergenerational communities – ‘growing faith’ among children and young people through links between churches, schools and households.
  4. Eco-communities – achieving eco-diocese status and aiming for net zero emissions by 2030.
  5. Reconciling communities - to ‘live well together’ in church and society across our many divides.

Social responsibility is woven into each of these five strategic priorities. Examples include housing policy which relates to our new communities strategy; work with asylum seekers and refugees which is one part of our intercultural communities strategy; and work to overcome inequalities in society which is part of our reconciling communities strategy.

The Diocesan Social Responsibility Panel has a strong network of relationships in many different areas of work. This work has been very ably led by Rev’d Canon Alison Adams in recent years, but she will be stepping down from this role later this year. Therefore, it is our hope that the Bishop’s Adviser in Social Policy will pick up many of these relationships and networks and support the bishop as he seeks to influence decision makers. In addition, it is likely that the bishop will enter the House of Lords in the next couple of years and the Adviser will help him prepare for this additional role.

To facilitate the ministry of the Bishop of Leicester by acting as Social Policy Adviser to the bishop and as his representative on the Diocesan Social Responsibility Panel

Main Duties

Social Policy Adviser to the Bishop

  • Advise the Bishop on areas of social policy, and opportunities for the Bishop to influence public debate and practical action
  • Develop contacts with others involved in social policy in the city and county
  • Act as the Bishop’s Representative on the Diocesan Social Responsibility Panel and various sub-groups
  • Liaise with the St Phillip’s Centre, to support the Bishop in interfaith work, especially the Faith Leaders’ Forum
  • Support the Bishop in his role as Chair of the Oversight Group of Leicester Homelessness Charter
  • Support the Bishop in preparing for his regular meetings with other senior leaders in the city and county e.g. the City Mayor and the Leader and CEO of the County Council
  • Liaise with the Cathedral to coordinate social responsibility work
  • Within the next few years the Bishop is likely to enter the House of Lords and the Social Policy Adviser will therefore take on the added work of research, speech writing and liaison with the Parliamentary Unit at Church House Westminster

The Bishop’s Office

  • Work as part of a team, helping with the practicalities of running an office and creating a culture of hospitality and welcome for visitors

Personal and professional

  • Take advantage of professional development opportunities
  • Be part of the national and regional social responsibility networks

The ideal candidate should have:

Previous experience

  • Good experience of ministry in the Church of England, especially in the area of the church’s role in the public square
  • Good experience in the charity sector and / or as a policy adviser.
  • Able to evidence involvement in a broad range of social policy initiatives

Knowledge and understanding

  • Degree level qualification in theology and/or social policy
  • Evidence of disciplines of current reading particularly in the areas of theology and social policy

Christian Mission and Social Policy

  • Able to articulate a theological understanding of the kingdom of God and a holistic approach to Christian mission.
  • Able to relate well to, and influence senior leaders in various fields.
  • Demonstrates a concern for, and a willingness to be alongside those who are economically poor, vulnerable and excluded.

IT/Admin skills

  • Able to draft policy documents and write succinctly and clearly.
  • Skilled in the use of computers, IT and social media.

Spirituality and Prayer Life

  • A Christian disciple with a mature faith able to watch over themselves and others.
  • The ability to be sustained in ministry through disciplines of prayer and study.

Personal style

  • Self-aware and mature.
  • Empathetic and approachable.
  • Able to see tasks through to completion.


Knowledge and understanding

  • Post-graduate qualification

Christian Mission and Social Policy

  • Experience of working with people of different faiths.

Clergy already in the Church of England Funded Pensions Scheme (CEFPS) will have the option of either remaining in this scheme or joining the Church Administrators Pension Fund (CAPF) scheme.

There is no contracting – out certificate under the Pension Schemes Act 1993 in force for this employment in relation to the CAPF and CEFPS. Both CAPF and CEFPS members are contracted-in to the State Second Pension.

The Church Commissioners have an income protection insurance arrangement. To be eligible for cover under this policy an employee must be a member of the CAPF DC section. Please note that insurance cover is not necessarily automatic and that underwriting may be required by the schemes in some instances. Cover will be subject to any terms and conditions laid down by the insurance company.