Personal Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff and Archbishop’s Private Secretary

This job has now expired
Bishopthorpe, York
£24,412 - £26,249 after probation

Our aim is for everyone in the National Church Institutions (NCIs) to feel that they belong, and are valued for who they are and what they contribute. Together, our people contribute in different ways towards our common purpose, whichever NCI they work in and whatever their background.

This post offers an excellent opportunity to work in a friendly and busy office, in unusual and pleasant surroundings. The employees at Bishopthorpe Palace work as a small and close-knit team and support each other at busy periods with flexibility and good humour.

As Personal Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff and Archbishop’s Private Secretary, you will provide the full range of administrative and PA support to the Deputy Chief of Staff and Archbishop’s Private Secretary, key roles within the Bishopthorpe Palace team with responsibility for supporting the work of the Archbishop on a daily basis.

In addition, you will provide administrative support within the central office team, and full Receptionist/Telephonist cover during lunch periods and holiday absences.

An excellent communicator with the confidence and diplomacy to engage at all levels, you will be a self-starter, who is able to use initiative and good judgement. While thriving on the challenge of competing priorities, you will use your effective planning skills and resourceful approach to ensure that commitments are managed professionally and that when necessary, creative solutions are found.

For an informal conversation about the role and working arrangements, please contact

Interviews will be held on Wednesday 2nd February ​2022.

A comprehensive and supportive induction programme will be put in place to ensure that you have all the information, access and contacts required to settle in quickly and excel in this role.

We offer a unique environment with opportunities for continuous learning, generous annual leave for work life balance, season ticket loans and a range of benefits including discounted entry to attractions and what we feel is a market leading package when it comes to our pension scheme.

The Role

Support to the Deputy Chief of Staff

  • Managing and prioritising communications with the Deputy Chief of Staff, whether by phone, e-mail, letter or in person, enabling them to achieve their objectives while ensuring timely responses.
  • Dealing with the Deputy Chief of Staff’s correspondence, including drafting replies to letters and e-mails and, where appropriate, replying on their behalf.
  • Assisting the Deputy Chief of Staff in the drafting of responses to general correspondence for the Archbishop’s signature.
  • Managing the Deputy Chief of Staff’s diary, including booking rooms and hospitality where appropriate.
  • Forward planning to ensure the Deputy Chief of Staff is briefed on forthcoming deadlines and that they are well prepared and briefed in advance for meetings and events.
  • Maintaining an effective records management system for the work of the Deputy Chief of Staff.
  • Supporting the Deputy Chief of Staff in the organisation and administration of meetings, lunches, dinners and receptions.
  • Taking minutes of meetings on an occasional basis.
  • Building and maintaining relationships with the Deputy Chief of Staff’s key contacts and their offices, whilst ensuring a high degree of confidentiality.
  • Researching issues and projects in relation to the work of the Deputy Chief of Staff and the Archbishop of York.

Support to the Archbishop of York’s Private Secretary

  • Assist the Private Secretary in the production of briefing documents for appointments.
  • Assist the Private Secretary in the administration of the Archbishop’s diary including, but not limited to:
    • Evaluating and researching incoming diary requests for events in the UK and abroad. Preparation of detailed information sheets prior to presenting them to the Archbishop for his decision.
    • Future diary planning, in particular for fixed date.
    • Supporting the Private Secretary in the logging and inputting of the Archbishop of York’s electronic diary entries and maintaining a paper archive of the diary for reference purposes.
    • Administration of diary statistics as requested by the Archbishop.
  • Assist the Private Secretary with meeting/event planning, by sending invitations, collating responses and distributing papers.
  • In conjunction with the Private Secretary produce up-to-date listings of forthcoming sermons and addresses for review by the senior staff team and submission to the Archbishop for planning purposes.
  • Drafting letters declining invitations for the Archbishop’s signature and declining invitations on their behalf.
  • Supporting the Private Secretary in the administration of the Archbishop’s Patronages:
    • Processing of incoming Patronage correspondence and emails in conjunction with the Private Secretary.
    • Administration of new requests, including background research for briefing purposes.
    • Processing of decline letters.
    • Administration of paperwork relating to Patronage acceptances, liaising with the charities to ensure key criteria are met prior to acceptance and the filing of appropriate documentation.
    • Liaison with the Communications team to ensure Patronage content on the Archbishop of York’s website is up to date and relevant.
    • Administration and maintenance of a central Patronage excel database.
  • Provide cover for the Private Secretary during periods of absence including holiday periods and sickness absence.

Other duties

  • Providing relief and assistance to other Bishopthorpe Palace team areas, this will include some scanning, photocopying, filing and other general administrative tasks.
  • Provide Reception cover during periods of absence including lunch breaks, holiday and sickness absences. This will include, but is not limited to, the opening and logging of incoming correspondence, both letters and emails, ensuring outgoing post is prepared and sent out in a timely manner and stationery supplies are maintained.

All staff working at the Archbishop of York’s office share responsibility to promote and maintain a strong safeguarding culture with regard to children and vulnerable adults, including identifying the key actions they should take given their role and responsibilities.

The Requirements



  • Excellent knowledge of IT, Microsoft Word, Outlook, Excel, Teams, the internet, a networked computer system and the ability to use IT to find creative solutions.
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written including the ability to draft and prepare high-quality, accurate correspondence, briefs and other material, including minutes of meetings as required.
  • Highly confidential, discreet and diplomatic.
  • Outstanding attention to detail.
  • Forward thinking with highly effective planning skills.
  • Ability to organise diaries and meetings.
  • Ability to collect and collate information and data and understand data protection requirements.
  • Highly focussed, organised and methodical with the ability to cope with conflicting priorities and projects.
  • Ability to work in a strictly confidential environment and handle sensitive documents.
  • Flexibility with the ability to adapt plans quickly in response to change.
  • Ability to create and implement new processes and systems to improve efficiency.
  • Strong team working skills.


  • Proven ability in managing diaries, correspondence and papers for a senior manager with the ability to find creative solutions.
  • Experience of, and confidence in, dealing with a wide range of people in the course of work, including at senior level.
  • An interest in the work of the Archbishop’s ministry and the Church of England generally.
  • Significant experience as a Personal Assistant at senior level.
  • Experience of organising meetings and/or events.
  • Experience in the oversight and organisation of travel arrangements, both within the UK and overseas.
  • Evidence of dealing with confidential and sensitive material.


  • Education to at least ‘A’ level standard, or equivalent professional experience.


  • Knowledge of and empathy with the Church of England and its structure.

We in the National Church Institutions support the mission and ministries of the Church all over England. We work with parishes, dioceses (regional offices), schools, other ministries and our partners at a national and international level.

Excellence, Respect, Integrity

We follow these three values in everything we do, whether we are of Christian faith, another faith or no faith. To learn more about working for National Church Institutions and our benefits, please click here

As a Disability Confident Leader, we actively look to attract, recruit and retain those of you who are disabled.

As a member of the Armed Forces Covenant, we welcome applications from those of you who have served in our Armed Forces and their families.

We are committed to being an equal opportunities employer and to ensuring that everyone, job applicants, customers and other people with whom we deal, are treated fairly and not subject to discrimination. We will do whatever is necessary to provide genuine equality of opportunity. We continuously review our policies and processes to support our aim to create a workforce as diverse as the nation the Church of England serves.