Chaplain to the Bishop of Durham

This job has now expired
Auckland Castle, Bishop Auckland, County Durham
£26,520 plus housing

The Bishop of Durham is the diocesan or most senior bishop, responsible for oversight of the whole diocese.

The Bishop of Durham is the Anglicanbishop responsible for the Diocese of Durham in the Province of York. The diocese is one of the oldest in England and its bishop is a permanent member of the House of Lords. Paul Butler has been the Bishop of Durham since his election was confirmed at York Minster on 20 January 2014. The bishop is one of two (the other is the Bishop of Bath and Wells) who escort the sovereign at the coronation.

Working with the Bishop of Durham and his team, the Chaplain will have a particular role to support the Bishop in his ministry in the Durham diocese and beyond, particularly providing spiritual, liturgical, pastoral and theological support. It is expected that the Chaplain will also offer support to the Bishop of Jarrow, on occasions.

The role of Chaplain encompasses spiritual, liturgical, executive, pastoral, and research responsibilities. The role requires someone with clarity of thought, ability to work on complex issues with tact and diplomacy, an eye for detail as well as an appreciation of wider issues, excellent administrative and interpersonal skills and the capacity to manage and prioritise their workload according to the Bishop's work agenda.

The person appointed will need to be resilient and dependable and have emotional and spiritual intelligence to navigate a varied, challenging and fulfilling ministry.

To arrange an informal conversation about the role please contact

This post is subject to an enhanced DBS disclosure.

Interviews will be held on Wednesday 29th September 2021 in Bishop Auckland.

The Role

Bishops are ordained to be shepherds of Christ’s flock and guardians of the faith of the apostles, proclaiming the gospel of God’s kingdom and leading his people in mission. Obedient to the call of Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit, they are to gather God’s people and celebrate with them the sacraments of the new covenant. Thus, formed into a single communion of faith and love, the Church in each place and time is united with the Church in every place and time. (From the service of consecration) The role of the Chaplain is to support the Bishop in his episcopal ministry. It is expected that the Chaplain will also offer support on occasions to the Bishop of Jarrow.

Principal Duties and Accountabilities of the role

A. Supporting the Bishop to provide pastoral episcopal oversight

1. Pray for and with the bishop, and encourage others in prayer.

2. Assist the Bishop in building and maintaining relationships with the parishes (including Schools) by working with the Bishop’s Personal Assistant to ensure a programme of visiting and that appropriate preparations are made.

3. Work with the Bishop’s Personal Assistant to make sure that the Bishop is fully and appropriately briefed for all engagements.

4. Act as required as the Bishop's personal representative with individuals, to parishes, at particular events/meetings and on task groups within the Diocese.

5. Assist the Bishop in supporting clergy welfare including liaising with Archdeacons and sustaining regular and planned programmes of clergy engagement.

6. Coordinate with the Bishop’s Personal Assistant in preparing briefing materials and draft outline talks for the Bishop's visits to various organisations within and outside the Diocese.

7. Liaise, alongside the Archdeacons, as appropriate with Area Deans & Lay Chairs.

8. Help to maintain and build on the effective and efficient communication which exists among the Bishop’s Staff and between the Bishop’s Office and other offices, particularly those of the Diocesan Secretary, the Cathedral Chapter, the Communications Officer, the Safeguarding Adviser and the Diocesan Registry.

9. Assist the Bishop with daily routine matters, including contact - face to face, by telephone and correspondence - over matters of a pastoral, theological, liturgical and disciplinary nature, drafting letters in the Bishop’s name and responding in his/her own name to letters addressed to the Bishop where appropriate. Support in the drafting of Ad Clerum.

10. To support the Bishop in developing and maintain good safeguarding policies and practices. Working with the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser on the continuing formulation and implementation policy and procedures.

11. To counsel the Bishop in all matters relating to Clergy Discipline, Capability and Grievance Procedures in liaison with the Diocesan Registrar, HR Director, DSA and others. This would include investigating informal complaints and supporting the Bishop in dealing with complaints made under the CDM. To develop good pastoral support as part of the CDM process.

12. Act as the Bishop’s Data Protection Compliance Officer for ensuring that the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 are followed; this includes processing subject access requests, maintaining clergy files, and providing advice to the Bishop as necessary.

13. Attending and assisting with evening and lunch time events and other social functions at The Bishop’s Home and elsewhere as requested.

B Support the Bishop to proclaim the gospel of God’s kingdom and lead His people in mission

1. Be a resource to the Bishop in theological reflection and endeavour. Build up a network of briefing theologians, consultants and experts, both secular and clerical, who are willing and able to advise the Bishop from their own disciplines and studies.

2. To support the Bishop in his role in the national House and College of Bishops’ meetings and the General Synod.

3. Work with the Bishop’s Parliamentary & RAMP Assistants to ensure the Bishop’s work related to the House of Lords is co-ordinated and underpinned by a theological narrative.

4. To work with the communications department to develop the voice of the Bishop of Durham.

5. To proactively manage the meetings of the Bishop’s Leadership Team, liaising with the Personal Assistant, including producing agendas, developing culture and processes, and following up action points.

C. Supporting the Bishop in worship

1. Liaise with the Dean and the Precentor in relation to episcopal services in the Cathedral and with clergy in relation to services at which the Bishop will preside in parish churches and chapels. Prepare the Bishop’s orders of service where necessary and check draft orders prepared by parishes.

2. Attend when requested the Bishop in the Cathedral on principal feasts and at ordinations, and other major services. Attend the Bishop on occasion at institutions, licensings and confirmations in the Diocese.

3. Oversee the worship life of Auckland Castle Chapel and Oratory including planning and preparing for worship.

D. Specific roles related to the Chaplain

1. Take a lead in working with each lead person on developing the Diocesan priorities or particular projects which arise from these priorities.

2. Undertake research for the Bishop and liaise with those who may assist in fact sharing.

3. Undertake whatever other tasks the Bishop may reasonably require.

The Requirements

The essential characteristics of the appointed person will be:

1. A Clerk in Holy Orders or suitably qualified Lay Person. This post has attached to it an occupational requirement under the 2010 Equality Act, Part 1, Schedule 9.

2. Mature in outlook with a deep and secure faith with a rich pattern of daily worship and wellestablished spiritual discipline.

3. Be able to work to the Bishop’s agenda, recognising that much of the Chaplain’s work, and the credit for it, is inevitably of a ‘hidden’ nature.

4. Have a lively and robust intellect; be able to relate theology to the mission of the Church and issues of contemporary culture, society and communication.

5. Be a good team player who can work well with others creating networks and collaborative relationships.

6. Be adaptable and flexible, able to prioritise tasks and work to deadlines. Have a good understanding of how they maintain their own wellbeing.

7. Possess the skills in human relations necessary for effective pastoral work; be able to handle difficult and sensitive matters with tact and diplomacy; be able to maintain strict confidentiality.

8. Be liturgically sensitive, competent and flexible.

9. Be able to see the big picture while being capable of accurate attention to detail; have good political judgement and ability to spot the implications of particular issues and courses of action.

10. Have proven administrative, drafting and research skills; be computer literate, familiar with e-mail, Microsoft packages, social media and the use of databases.

11. Be able to communicate effectively with a wide range of people belonging to institutions, organisations and other groups beyond the Church of England.

12. Have the ability to work effectively with people from different cultural backgrounds

13. Be spiritually motivated and able to see opportunities for service and the proclamation of the gospel even in the most routine matters.

The desirable characteristics of the appointed person will be:

1. Show evidence of initiative, imagination and creativity, whilst being content to share the Bishop’s vision and priorities for his ministry.

2. Honours degree in theology (or higher) (a Masters level degree in theology would be an advantage but is not essential).

It is not expected that an appointee will necessarily be immediately able to fulfil all aspects of the role – training and support will be given to enable the postholder to grow in the required competencies and knowledge.

Our Diocesan Priorities are Church Growth, Children & Young People and Poverty (Social Action) in order to ‘Bless Our Communities in Jesus’ name for the transformation of us all’.

Our activities whilst focused on our priorities, also embrace the wider Church and our faith partners.

To find out more about us please visit Durham Diocese | Blessing Our Communities in Jesus' Name