Personal Assistant to the Bishop of St Albans

This job has now expired
Abbey Gate House in St Albans

The Bishop of St Albans seeks a Personal Assistant who can demonstrate commitment, initiative and a willingness to take responsibility for addressing frequently complex and time sensitive issues.

This full-time position is set in a Christian faith context and in the voluntary sector.
The PA to the Bishop post is comparable in responsibility terms to a personal assistant role to a managing director of a medium-sized company

It is highly desirable that the person holding the role has strong sympathy with the Christian faith and wishes to see the flourishing of God’s Church. Whilst it is not assumed that the successful candidate will have prior knowledge of the structures and operations of the Church of England, they must be prepared to immerse themselves in it.

It is especially important that all staff of the Diocese of St Albans, lay and ordained, have a sense that they are valued and cared for pastorally, spiritually and personally, and the PA is crucial in making this a reality.

As the normal first point of contact with the Bishop, the PA will take responsibility for handling enquiries, researching and supplying suitable responses and managing diaries and workload, ensuring that the reputation of the Bishop’s office is enhanced and protected.

The role carries considerable responsibility and can be demanding and at times intensive. It requires someone who enjoys engaging with people of all sorts, and has patience and a calm manner and a healthy sense of humour as well as a high level of proven administrative and organisational skills. The PA needs to be able to juggle multiple issues at the same time.

Key working relationships are with the Bishop and his immediate senior colleagues, clergy, church members and volunteers, and more widely with a vast variety of people locally, nationally and internationally.

The Bishop’s local budget is managed in-house and training on the finance software used is available. Therefore, some basic experience of accounting and book keeping is desirable.

The PA is a member of a small team who work at Abbey Gate House in St Albans, and it is crucial that every member of the team is flexible in supporting and, where necessary, covering for each other.

The closing date for applications is Thursday 21 July 2022.

For an informal discussion about this position, please contact the Bishop’s Chaplain,
Captain Andrew Crooks CA, on 07435 940077, or email

The main responsibilities for this role are:

Principal duties

  • To triage all incoming mail, emails and enquiries and, in consultation with colleagues, deal with as many issues as possible in order to free the Bishop for his wider responsibilities
  • To take a proactive approach to ensure that the Bishop’s diary is well managed, with the programme agreed with the Bishop
  • To ensure that the Bishop has all necessary paperwork in advance of meetings/engagements
  • To maintain an effective and accessible system for storing electronic data-folders, sub-folders, etc., conducting regular audits of database input
  • To manage the Bishop’s working expenses and discretionary funds and, in collaboration with the Church Commissioners, manage the Bishop’s budget using good judgement
  • Working with the Bishop’s Chaplain and Secretary you will all share in dealing with mail, emails, phone calls and visitors
  • To review current systems and practices, and to suggest changes for improvement where appropriate.

Other duties

  • To develop and maintain good working relationships with those who work in the Diocesan Office and the offices of the Bishop’s Senior Staff
  • To use initiative in generating standard letters, including correspondence surrounding such matters as job offers, ordinations and to follow the agreed process for each
  • To make arrangements for the Bishop’s travel, buying rail tickets when necessary, and informing the Bishop’s driver when he is required for travel by car
  • To make all necessary arrangements for meetings, seminars, conferences, interviews and social events
  • To order office supplies and equipment
  • To give occasional assistance with simple hospitality during office hours
  • To carry out the administration associated with licensing Services
  • To carry out other duties broadly in line with these from time to time as instructed by the Bishop.

The ideal candidate must have:

Personal Effectiveness

  • Demonstrates ability to innovate, initiate and maintain good and effective administrative procedures
  • Demonstrates a willingness to work collaboratively
  • Uses a practical approach to tasks
  • Stays calm under pressure
  • Demonstrates ability to prioritise effectively
  • Pays close attention to detail
  • Works well in a small team


  • Establishes and maintains excellent working relationships with colleagues and other contacts
  • Demonstrates polite, helpful manner
  • Communicates effectively with people at all levels, both inside and outside the organisation
  • Demonstrates excellent presentation, layout and accuracy in text production
  • Demonstrates ability to draft or adapt standard letters as appropriate
  • Demonstrates understanding of the importance of maintaining strict confidentiality
  • Uses diplomacy and sensitivity


  • Has proven ability to use computers for word processing, spreadsheets and databases
  • Audio types accurately
  • Demonstrates competence in managing accounts and a budget effectively
  • Has an aptitude for developing and reviewing office systems in response to availability of new technology


  • Demonstrates a good standard of literacy and numeracy
  • Uses proactive approach towards workload
  • Manages workflow flexibly to prioritise tasks in order to meet deadlines
  • Follows office procedures


  • Educated to ‘A’ level or equivalent standard
  • Proficient in the use of Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, Outlook and MS Edge
  • Has experience of using databases
  • Has experience of managing a budget efficiently
  • Has experience of managing a varied workload efficiently

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 all applications from those you 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 all 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.