Senior Executive Assistant to the Bishop of Chelmsford

Posted 11 days agoExpires in 4 days
Chelmsford
Employee
£30,078 p.a.

The Diocese of Chelmsford is the second largest diocese in the Church of England. It is also one of the most diverse, covering both five East London Boroughs and the whole County of Essex. It is an area of considerable growth and development.

The Bishop has the pastoral oversight of the diocese, its clergy, parishes and all ministry exercised under her authority. In that task she is supported by three Area Bishops under the Area Scheme for the Diocese and seven Archdeacons. The diocesan administration is carried forward by the Chief Executive of the diocese and the team working to her at the Diocesan Offices in Chelmsford.

The Bishop seeks to provide leadership, direction, coherence and collaborative team-working in fulfilling the mission of the church in the diocese.

The Bishop’s offices are located at Bishopscourt, Margaretting. A team of people work directly to the Bishop from these offices. Good and flexible working relationships are essential with the household and the team.

The Bishop’s Senior Executive Assistant holds a pivotal role in the support of the Bishop in her ministry, not least in ensuring a warm and generous welcome to all who come to see her or who contact the office. The efficient, contented and collaborative running of the Bishop’s Office is essential to success in her ministry.

The Bishop’s SEA is also the Office Manager responsible for the running of the Bishop’s office, its administration and finances. In that it will be essential to form a good and strong working relationship with the Chaplain to the Bishop who is responsible for supporting the Bishop in her ministerial work and in the shaping of her programme and priorities. The SEA is supported by a full-time secretary who has a key role in the management of files (including clergy Blue Files) and assists with coordination of the diary. A gardener/driver/handy-man also works at Bishopscourt and is an important member of the team.

Interviews will be held Wednesday 29th September 2021

The key areas of the Bishop’s work

  • The oversight of the diocese
    • Appointment and licensing of clergy and authorised lay workers
    • Ordination of deacons and priests
    • Pastoral care and discipline of all who hold the Bishop’s licence
    • Oversight of the diocesan strategy and ministry
    • International links

  • Wider ministries, which include
    • House of Lords
    • House of Bishops
    • The Synodical life of the Church of England
    • Chair of the Church Army Board
    • Bishop for Housing and Chair of the Housing Advisory Board
    • Vice President of the Conference of European Churches
    • Ministry to Iranians living in the UK

Aims and Purpose of Job

  • To provide executive and administrative support for the Bishop to enable her to fulfil her Episcopal ministry in the most effective way possible both in and beyond the Diocese.
  • To organise, co-ordinate and oversee the Bishop of Chelmsford’s office and diary
  • To carry out core administrative processes affecting the Bishop’s Staff and the Diocese, working in close conjunction and co-ordination with the Diocesan Office, the Registry, the offices of the Area Bishops, Archdeacons, Diocesan Safeguarding Officer and Diocesan Director of Ordinands.
  • To ensure an efficient and welcoming system for all enquiries to the Bishop.

The main responsibilities are:

Main Tasks

  • Having sight of all communications coming into and going out of the office and, in liaison with the Bishop’s Chaplain, ensuring appropriate action is taken. This may include:
  • Dealing with delegated correspondence and material supplied by the Bishop including handwritten items.
  • Managing, in conjunction with the Bishop, her email inbox.
  • Acknowledging, and dealing with, as appropriate, incoming correspondence and emails.
  • Management and processing of office finances including: the Church Commissioner’s budget, the Bishop’s Discretionary Fund, Working Expenses and other financial matters relating to the Bishop’s ministry and office, including miscellaneous income from charities, trusts and legacies.
  • Overseeing the Bishop’s Diary, including arranging all appointments, travel arrangements, formal and informal social events, meetings etc. Ensuring that it focuses on and complements her priorities for the Diocese and beyond.
  • Issuing official Notices of Appointment, Departure and Retirement, liaising with the appropriate Area Bishop’s Office. Liaising with the Registrar over issuing licences as required. The EA has ‘lead-recruiter’ status with the Disclosure and Barring Service.
  • Supporting the Chaplain and working in conjunction with the Registrar in matters of Clergy discipline, as required.
  • Processing the Permission to Officiate applications for those seeking PTO for the first time and for renewal of those living outside the Diocese.
  • Facilitating effective communication including liaising with the Bishop’s Staff, Diocesan Office, Diocesan Communications Director, Diocesan Registry, Diocesan clergy and secretarial staff, other Bishops and clergy nationally, as required, and Church Commissioners Bishoprics Department.
  • Assisting in arranging official hospitality by the Bishop, as required
  • Responding to a wide range of enquiries in a warm and friendly manner either in person or by directing enquirers to the appropriate sources of information, and ensuring that the telephone is answered promptly, efficiently and kindly.
  • Ensuring a warm and generous welcome to all who come to see the Bishop.
  • Taking notes at meetings and attending social events and/or services as deemed appropriate by the Bishop.
  • In consultation with the Church Commissioners, and working with the Bishopscourt grounds staff, oversee the management of house and garden and their use in support of the Bishop’s household and ministry.
  • Undertaking other appropriate duties as may be required from time to time. This may require telephone or email contact out of normal office hours and occasional attendance at evening or weekend functions.

Management of Bishop’s Office

  • To manage the Bishop’s Office, to ensure good working practice in administration and to help create a professional environment appropriate to the work of the Bishop and the Church.
  • Assisting the Bishop with the management of the Bishop’s Office and House staff members (including recording hours worked, holiday entitlement, sick leave, etc.) and liaising with the Church Commissioners HR (Bishoprics).
  • To oversee maintenance and improvement of information retrieval systems and archiving where necessary (including General Synod and House of Bishops papers)
  • To operate, in conjunction with the Assistant Secretary, a system to manage the Bishop of Chelmsford’s papers, correspondence etc.
  • To oversee the provision and maintenance of office supplies and equipment, including computer systems.
  • To work with the Bishop’s Chaplain and Secretary as colleagues and coordinate regular meetings with the Bishop.
  • To be responsible for conducting the Secretary’s Annual Review. (The EA will have their own Annual Review, which will normally be conducted by the Bishop’s Chaplain on behalf of the Bishop.)
  • To work collaboratively with the Bishop’s Chaplain to ensure warm and effective arrangements for the Bishop’s ministry to clergy, which may include arrangements for the Institutions and Licensing Services of Clergy new to the Diocese; preparation for Ordination services and retreats; and preparation for the Bishop’s visits to parishes for Sunday worship.

The person must have :

  • Excellent management skills, to create and maintain good working practice and a professional environment.
  • Excellent inter-personal and diplomatic skills to ensure flexible relationships with everyone at Bishopscourt.
  • Excellent computer skills, including advanced knowledge of Microsoft Word and Excel, and the ability to adopt other appropriate developments in IT;
  • Total discretion in the handling of confidential material;
  • Personal resilience in working in a demanding role and dealing with highly sensitive safeguarding and disciplinary issues;
  • Ability to communicate clearly, verbally and in writing;
  • Ability to work on own initiative and to propose and take initiatives to enhance the work of the Bishop and her office;
  • Ability to plan and prioritise work;
  • Excellent management skills, to create and maintain good working practice and a professional environment.
  • Excellent inter-personal and diplomatic skills to ensure flexible relationships with everyone at Bishopscourt.
  • Excellent computer skills, including advanced knowledge of Microsoft Word and Excel, and the ability to adopt other appropriate developments in IT;
  • Total discretion in the handling of confidential material;
  • Personal resilience in working in a demanding role and dealing with highly sensitive safeguarding and disciplinary issues;
  • Ability to communicate clearly, verbally and in writing;
  • Ability to work on own initiative and to propose and take initiatives to enhance the work of the Bishop and her office;
  • Ability to plan and prioritise work;
  • Ability to deal tactfully and sympathetically with the laity and clergy of the diocese;
  • Dealing confidentially and sensitively with telephone enquiries and visitors to Bishopscourt;
  • Willingness and ability to work flexibly and collaboratively within the small office team, including occasional evening or weekend work;
  • Ability to work to tight deadlines;
  • Being prepared to undertake appropriate training, as required;
  • Being sympathetic to the work of the Church of England.

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 applications from those who 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 number of interviews conducted to five applicants per open post we advertise.

*Where applicable depending on post requirements.