Assistant Secretary to the Bishop of Durham

This job has now expired
Bishop Auckland
£17,607 per annum

To work alongside the Bishop of Durham’s senior personal secretary and senior assistant secretary by providing administrative support including filing and archiving, typing, photocopying, and the development and maintenance of the office databases.

Interviews will be held on Wednesday 1st September 2021.

The Bishop of Durham’s office, located in Auckland Castle, Bishop Auckland, supports the Bishop in his work leading the Diocese and in aspects of the work of the Church of England nationally. The Diocese of Durham covers the whole area from the Tyne to the Tees and the Dales to the Sea. The Diocese has 280 church buildings and serves all communities. The office team work together in an open plan office. There is also a kitchen and space for taking lunch breaks.

We are looking for a team player who is able to hold confidentiality and work collaboratively. A good sense of humour helps too.

The main responsibilities are:

  • Providing general secretarial support for the Bishop, and the Bishop’s Chaplain
  • Standing in for the Bishop’s Senior Assistant Secretary in her/his absence
  • Respond to enquiries/renewals regarding the Bishop’s licences, Archbishops’ Special Licences, Permission to Officiate and maintaining up to date records
  • Assist with maintaining the Bishop’s database
  • Assist with the good maintenance of Clergy, Reader and Pastoral Assistants Files
  • Maintain Confirmation Returns
  • Undertaking general filing
  • Managing, ordering and maintaining adequate stocks of stationery and other office supplies
  • Undertaking general reception duties
  • Answering the telephone and forwarding calls as necessary
  • Arranging for annual maintenance of garden equipment at Bishop’s House
  • Arranging annual electrical equipment safety checks
  • Carrying out other duties broadly in line with these from time to time as instructed by the Bishop and those he nominates
  • Opening incoming post and dealing with letters where appropriate
  • Handling a wide range of telephone enquiries with confidence, diplomacy and tact - answering queries directly or passing them on to the Bishop or chaplain or other appropriate source of information
  • Welcoming all visitors and arranging catering as necessary
  • Sending out invitations to functions and keeping accurate lists of replies
  • Making arrangements for the distribution of the Bishop’s Christmas card each year

The ideal candidates should have:


  • Good general standard of education, with a good standard of literacy and numeracy
  • Competence in the use of all aspects of Microsoft Office including word processing, electronic means of communication, diary and database management
  • Efficient typing skills
  • The ability to work well in a small team
  • The ability to maintain absolute confidentiality and to be courteous, friendly and discreet
  • A flexible approach to duties and working hours, including a willingness to share responsibilities with colleagues and to assist at and attend occasional evening/weekend functions
  • Good time management and organisational skills
  • The ability to adapt to changing circumstances and to work on own initiative
  • A professional personal appearance
  • A professional and sympathetic telephone manner


  • Sympathy with the Christian faith, ability to share in the ethos of the Bishop’s office and household.
Non-clergy staff will be automatically enrolled into the Church Administrators Pension Fund (CAPF, DC Section). Clergy already in the Church of England Funded Pensions Scheme (CEFPS) will have the option of either remaining in this scheme or joining the 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 on behalf of the Bishop 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 and be under 65 years or, if it is higher, their state pension age. 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.