Expressions of Interest Sought: the Church Buildings Council and its committees

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Committee membership is not remunerated although reasonable out of pocket expenses are paid.

The Cathedral and Church Buildings Division of the Church of England would like to hear from people with the time and skills to serve on the Church Buildings Council or one of our voluntary expert committees.

The Church Buildings Council is responsible for enabling our church buildings to serve their congregations and communities by being relevant and sustainable. It sets policy and gives advice on the care and development of church buildings. It is engaged with delivery of General Synod’s commitment to net-zero carbon by 2030, and with issues of contested heritage and equal access to churches. Beyond scholarly and/or practical expertise, we are looking for applicants who will bring imagination, insight, and new and diverse perspectives to bear on the significance of Church of England churches and cathedrals and the challenges they face. Applications from PGM (People of Global Majority) professionals are especially welcomed, to address the exclusive dominance of white voices among our members.

The Council campaigns, raises significant funding for church buildings, and awards grants towards the cost of the conservation of church historic interiors. It gives advice on casework and particular matters of high significance, technical innovation or controversy. It advises on the architectural significance of church buildings being considered for closure and the way forward for church buildings where the future appears uncertain.

Joining an expert committee or the Council offers a unique opportunity to help to ensure the long-term protection and sustainability of churches. Membership provides great prospects for professional development and will allow you to engage with unique situations in special buildings that need bespoke solutions.

There is no requirement to be a Christian or of any faith, though members must act in sympathy with the mission of the Church. These roles are voluntary, with reasonable travel and subsistence expenses paid.

If you would like an informal discussion about these roles please contact David Knight for the Church Buildings Council or Janet Berry for the expert committees.

To express your interest, please send a CV and covering letter to Please indicate whether you are interested in serving on the Church Buildings Council or a conservation committee.

Please send your application to arrive by 23.59 on Sunday 27 March 2022.

Church Buildings Council

The Church Buildings Council is responsible for setting national level policies and giving both general and specific advice on the care and development of church buildings. The Council also works at a national level with government and others. It meets 7 times per year, usually in person at Church House in London. Site visits will sometimes be undertaken, with an expectation of a total time commitment of 14 days per year per member.

Statutory Advisory Committee

There are three vacancies to be filled on the Statutory Advisory Committee, a committee formed of eight Council members, four appointed by the Secretary of State at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport . This Committee is specifically tasked with advising the Church Commissioners on the architectural and heritage interest of churches under consideration for closure and on sympathetic changes that might be made to them.

The committee meets 7 times per year, usually in person at Church House in London and on the same days as meetings of the Church Buildings Council, site visits will sometimes be undertaken. There is an expectation of 14 days per year per member for meetings and site visits.

Please see the Church Buildings Council recruitment information attached below.

Conservation committees

The six Conservation Committees (Bells, Clocks, Organs, Paintings & Wall Paintings, Sculpture & Furnishings, Stained Glass) provide advice to the Church Buildings Council and Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England on conservation issues, and make recommendations on conservation awards for the Conservation Grants programmes.

The committees meet once or twice per year, usually in person at Church House in London, with other work conducted by email. Site visits will sometimes be undertaken, with an expectation of 1-2 per year per member. The total commitment may be up to 5 days a year per member.


Committee membership is not remunerated although reasonable out of pocket expenses are paid.

Experts are sought in the following areas:

  • Church architectural and art history
  • Bells
    • Significance of historic bells
    • Bell restoration & repair
    • Structural engineering of bell towers
  • Clocks
    • Significance of turret clocks
    • Turret clock conservation
  • Organs
    • Significance of organs
    • Organs conservation
  • Paintings & wall paintings
    • Significance of ecclesiastical paintings, including medieval rood screens, hatchments, and wall paintings
    • Paintings conservation, including easel paintings, hatchments, panel paintings and other works of polychromy on wood
    • Wall paintings conservation
  • Sculpture & furnishings
    • Significance of church and churchyard monuments and memorials
    • Significance of ecclesiastical furnishings and fittings
    • Significance of decorative metalwork including monumental brasses and silverware
    • Significance of ecclesiastical textiles
    • Conservation of decorative metalwork including monumental brasses and silverware
    • Conservation of textiles
  • Stained glass
    • Conservation of stained glass

Members need to have a good understanding of these technical areas in a church, cathedral, or similar context, and of complex conservation projects. However you could well be working in the wider heritage sector.

Contested heritage committee

The Church Building Council is establishing a new Contested Heritage Committee. This committee will focus on the Church’s priority of racial justice as it is manifested in the material culture in our churches and cathedrals. The committee will:

  • advise the Church Buildings Council and Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England on all matters relating to contested heritage policy.
  • provide advice to the Council on faculty applications relating to contested heritage referred to the Council by parishes, dioceses or Chancellors.
  • provide advice to the Commission on applications submitted by Chapters relating to contested heritage.
  • support the Cathedral and Church Buildings Division in identifying and prioritising resource provision needed by parishes, dioceses and cathedrals with their work around contested heritage. This may include:
    • advice on sources of information when researching people and places, including those whose stories have not been traditionally told;
    • how and who to consult to add to the histories that are currently under-represented by the contested heritage
    • interpretation of contested heritage in an ecclesiastical setting.
  • review the current national guidance
  • advise the Council on long-term needs relating to contested heritage

The focus of the committee’s work will be on racial justice though the committee may consider objects associated with other forms of contested heritage. The committee will meet 3-4 times a year as needed, either in person at Church House, London or online. Business will also be conducted via email. Site visits will sometimes be undertaken, with an expectation of 1-2 visits per year per member.

Experts are sought in the following areas:

  1. Social and economic history, specifically knowledge of 17th-19th Century slavery and industrial history
  2. 17-19th Century ecclesiastical sculpture, monuments and memorials
  3. Visual culture, with a strong understanding of the interplay of politics, art and cultural boundaries; the implicit and explicit representations of works of art, their display, and impact on communities; an understanding of ecclesiastical objects within their spatial context.
  4. Communications experience relevant to advice on communicating evidence-based narratives; with community liaison experience to promote engagement, offer strategies for increasing representation, and provide strategies to assist in communicating different issues to stakeholders.
  5. Interpretation of ecclesiastical culture.
  6. Liturgist with an understanding of racial justice.

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.

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.