Parliamentary and Policy Researcher

This job has now expired
London
Employee
£28,173 per annum

The purpose of this role is to support the Bishops of Bristol, Chelmsford and Manchester in their duties as Members of the House of Lords.

The work of the Bishops is guided by their policy interests and some nationally held responsibilities. The Bishop of Chelmsford is the newly appointed lead Bishop for housing. All have a shared concern for issues of economic, environmental and social justice, at home and overseas.

In addition, the Bishops have specific areas of focus covering policing, modern day slavery, safeguarding, church buildings, refugees and asylum seekers. As such, this post may be well suited to someone who has particular experience or interest in one or more of these areas of policy.

In order to maximise effectiveness, the Parliamentary and Policy Researcher will work as part of the Church of England Parliamentary Unit which serves the National Church Institutions (NCIs), by maintaining links with MPs, Peers and employees and helping the NCIs to engage more effectively with the Parliamentary process. The Unit is concerned with the Church’s engagement with society and with issues of public concern and works with colleagues, to enable policy issues to be followed through the political process.

As Parliamentary and Policy Researcher, you will have the opportunity to gain a unique insight into the work of the Bishops and to make a vital contribution to their duties as Members of the House of Lords.

Your work will include research and information gathering, drafting speeches and questions, managing meetings, appointments and other events on behalf of the Bishops and such other work as the Bishops and the Head of Parliamentary Affairs may require from time to time.

Your work priorities and tasks will be determined by the Bishops of Bristol, Chelmsford and Manchester, with whom you will be expected to have frequent direct contact. On the Bishops’ behalf, the Head of Parliamentary Affairs will manage, guide and oversee the parliamentary work assigned to you.

You will divide your working time equally between the Bishops and flexibility in the working pattern will be required, depending on the respective requirements of each Bishop, their duty weeks and other commitments in the House of Lords, as well as Parliamentary sitting and recess dates. The balance between Parliamentary tasks and those that relate to the Bishops’ diocesan roles is likely to vary depending on the Parliamentary cycle, and you will ensure that the Bishops’ support is well coordinated with the wider activities of the Parliamentary Unit.

You will be based within the Parliamentary Unit which is currently located in Church House, Westminster. Some flexibility including home working is possible, although you will need to be available to attend Westminster as and when required.

The Church of England is for everyone and we want to reflect the diversity of the community the Church serves across the whole country. Therefore, while of course we welcome all applications from interested and suitably experienced people, we would particularly welcome applicants from UK Minority Ethnic Backgrounds.

This post is offered on a fixed term contract which is expected to last for 12 months, with the possibility of extension.

Interviews are expected to be held on Wednesday 26th January 2022. If successful, you will need to be available to join us as soon as possible, after confirmation of your appointment.

The Role

  • Supporting the Bishops of Bristol, Chelmsford and Manchester in their work in the House of Lords.
  • Advising on, and researching materials for Parliamentary speeches and interventions.
  • Monitoring and keeping the Bishops informed about relevant Parliamentary developments and timetables.
  • Liaising with MPs, Peers and their staff, Parliamentary officials and others in and outside the NCIs on behalf of the Bishops.
  • Drafting articles for publication and the press about the Bishops’ work, in close collaboration with diocesan and Church House Communications Officers.
  • Providing research resource for the Bishops in their diocesan and non-Parliamentary work, as and when required. This may involve researching and drafting talks, articles and lectures and working closely with Bishops' Office staff.
  • Assisting with disseminating the Church’s Parliamentary responses to specific issues or bills, as agreed with the Head of Parliamentary Affairs and Deputy Head of Parliamentary Affairs.
  • Supporting the Head and Deputy Head of Parliamentary Affairs in their wider responsibilities and standing in for them as and when required.
  • Working with the Parliamentary Unit to ensure that the Bishops are kept abreast of the wider activities of the Lords Spiritual and the Parliamentary Unit.

The Requirements

Essential

Skills/Aptitudes:

  • Excellent communication skills, verbally and in writing. Proven ability in drafting briefing papers or press releases, bulletins or other accessible modes of communication.
  • Excellent organisational skills, including time management, diary management etc.
  • Research skills, with the ability to gather information quickly and accurately and to produce content in forms suitable for both brief speeches and full-length addresses.
  • Ability to discern the impact of policies, legislation etc. on the Church of England, other churches, and other faith communities.

Knowledge/Experience:

  • Knowledge of Parliamentary processes, current affairs and the making of Government policy.
  • A grasp of the key issues facing the Church of England in its public role today.
  • Some experience of organising events, receptions, seminars, meetings etc.

Personal attributes:

  • Mature with enthusiasm, energy and imagination.
  • Discretion and judgement in handling confidential or sensitive material.
  • A flexible, open and collaborative working style.
  • A willingness to work with and learn from senior colleagues, and people of differing political and theological persuasions.

Education:

  • Degree level or equivalent.

Circumstances:

  • Willingness and ability to work some unsocial hours when required.

Desirable

Education:

  • Degree, A Level (or equivalent) in a relevant subject, such as politics, theology etc.

Skills/Aptitudes:

  • The ability to perform well as part of a team.
  • Excellent ICT skills.

Knowledge / Experience:

  • Knowledge of current trends in the relevant policy areas of the Bishops.
  • Some knowledge or experience of parliamentary processes, political parties, think tanks, lobby groups etc.
  • Some knowledge of the structures of the Church of England.
  • Ability to manage own work programme with minimal direct management, deliver outcomes to deadlines and to work under pressure.
  • Proven ability in presenting complex data in manageable and informative ways.

The Parliamentary and Policy Researcher will be working in the National Church Institutions (NCIs) and therefore will be expected to respect the values of the NCIs.

The NCIs 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.