Executive Assistant to the Secretary General of the Archbishops’ Council and General Synod

This job has now expired
Hybrid - remote working and London
£31,857 - £34,255 per year (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.

The Secretary General is the CEO of the Archbishops’ Council charity (Secretary General of the Archbishops’ Council, Secretary to the General Synod and Secretary to the House of Bishops). He supports the Archbishops, Bishops, General Synod and all the arms of the Church in furthering its mission.

He is also Secretary General of the General Synod of the Church of England which is the legislative body of the Church of England, made up of three houses – The House of Bishops, Clergy and Laity.

This is an essential role in the Secretary General’s Office, providing executive assistance and office management to and for the Secretary General and his Private Secretary.

With the opportunity to provide support in all areas including making practical arrangements for meetings and visits, you will act as the first point of contact for the Secretary General’s Office, triaging all correspondence and dealing sensitively and intelligently with a variety of telephone enquiries.

With experience ofexecutive level office management and administrative support, you will have a confident and proactive approach and the sensitivity and good judgement to deal with urgent, confidential and complex matters.

We are taking a flexible approach to work, with many colleagues opting for a hybrid approach to their working week, with a mixture of home and office-based working. Further details will be discussed at interview.

To arrange an informal discussion about the role, please contact elise.sandham@churchofengland.org

Interviews will be held on the 17th February 2022.

In return 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

  • Managing the Secretary General’s office and providing executive administrative support in all areas, including, but not exclusively, making practical arrangements for meetings and visits, maintaining, developing and reviewing filing systems, and processing expense claims.
  • Acting as the first point of contact for the Secretary General’s Office, triaging all correspondence, dealing with requests as appropriate and understanding when requests needs to be passed on to the Private Secretary or Secretary General, or another relevant member of staff. Dealing sensitively, independently and with initiative with a considerable amount of discrete engagement by telephone, email and correspondence, often dealing with matters of confidentiality.
  • Dealing sensitively and intelligently with telephone enquiries and re-routing callers to other departments/staff as necessary and acting as an interface between the Secretary General and other departments and bodies, including senior contacts in external organisations on behalf of the Secretary General.
  • Managing the Secretary General’s diary using Outlook and proactively engaging with senior stakeholders across the Church on the Secretary Generals behalf.
  • Carrying out research projects for the Secretary General, taking initiative for what relevant information the Secretary General might need for meetings and current projects. Collating briefing documents and providing daily briefing files with analysis of key topics.
  • Providing secretarial and executive support for senior level meetings, including, but not exclusively, the Senior Management Group (SMG) of the Archbishops’ Council (monthly), the Joint Executive Common Services Board (JECSB) (quarterly), and the Chief Executive Officers (quarterly) including arranging meetings, preparing papers and agendas, briefing chairmen, taking minutes and chasing follow up action.
  • Organising the practical arrangements for, and attending, the SMG annual residential.
  • Leading projects on behalf of the Secretary General and Private Secretary.
  • Attending General Synod meetings, including a residential in York every July, and other governance meetings as required and being part of the Synod Support Team during Synod sessions.
  • Deputising and providing cover for the Private Secretary making decisions on their behalf when necessary.
  • Any other duties that may arise within the Secretary General’s Office as required.

The Requirements



  • Excellent and demonstrable IT knowledge, including advanced knowledge of the use of Microsoft Office Suite, especially Excel, Access and Outlook and SharePoint.
  • Ability to prioritise and meet complex deadlines.
  • Ability to work under pressure using own initiative and to work unsupervised, as well as collaboratively.
  • Sensitivity and good judgement in dealing with urgent, confidential and complex matters.
  • Ability to consistently deliver high quality customer service in a busy environment.
  • Ability to communicate clearly, both orally and in writing with numerous stakeholders as the first point of contact in the Secretary General’s Office.
  • Ability to manage, foster and maintain professional relationships with key stakeholders at all levels, both internal and external, responding proactively to complex needs.
  • Ability to maintain professional neutrality amidst discussions of sensitive and controversial matters.


  • Demonstrable experience of executive level office management and administrative support.
  • Experience of managing the diary of a director or senior member of staff and providing proactive support.
  • Proven track-record in the use of databases, word processing skills, spreadsheets and Content Management Systems.
  • Experience and understanding of servicing member-led bodies and minute-taking.
  • Ability to judge actions needed according to circumstances and employ a flexible approach by applying independent thought.

Personal Attributes:

  • Professional and well organised.
  • Discreet and aware of the need for confidentiality.
  • Confident, proactive and able to demonstrate initiative.
  • Ability to maintain focus to complete tasks under pressure and move quickly and seamlessly between varying and multiple tasks and subjects.
  • Receptiveness to new ideas and flexible approach to work.


  • Experience of managing projects and budgets.
  • Experience in events management.
  • An understanding of the workings of the National Church Institutions or a willingness and ability to learn rapidly about them.
  • Understanding of the current issues faced by Church of England.
  • In sympathy with the aims and ethos of the Church of England.


  • Willing and able to attend General Synod sessions in London (February and November) and York (July).

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.