Head of Parish Buying

This job has now expired
Hybrid– mixture of remote working and London or Diocesan office or home working

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 Church of England is made up of over 16,000 churches, in 12,000 parishes which are all charitable organisations. These parishes are organised into 42 regions as dioceses which are all registered charities. The parish ‘economy’ is over £1.1 billion a year, and over 35,000 social action projects are delivered by its churches including food banks, children’s services, debt management advice and work with people who are homeless.


This new role will have responsibility for Parish Buying, a national church initiative that was established in 2011 and serves The Church of England and the Church in Wales. It has a turnover in excess of £10M and over 20,000 members. Working with a third party provider (2buy2), it has developed a range of products and services for parishes, cathedrals and dioceses. Parish Buying selects suppliers so its members can have confidence in the value and the quality of their products and services, and seeks to leverage the churches national purchasing power to save worshipping communities money. The Energy Basket is currently the principal activity of Parish Buying, accounting for over 90% of its income, and saved its members over £3M in 2021 alone.

Following a comprehensive review, we have identified that Parish Buying can, with capacity building, and an improved funding model rapidly expand and increase its products and services and therefore its reach and its impact across the church. We also believe Parish Buying can play a critical role in delivering some of the Church’s wider ambitions such as its commitment to carbon net zero 2030[1].

We have identified ways to release additional resources to build the capacity of Parish Buying, and this role will lead on the deployment of those additional resources to aid its development and growth. It will have responsibility for all Parish Buying activity, including the management of existing and future suppliers as the services expand.

Parish Buying operates as a distinct identity within the national church’s trading company, ChECST, and this role will be accountable to the ChECST Board for this area of work. The role will be line managed by the National Giving Advisor, who is also a Board member of ChECST.

The main responsibilities for this role are:

  • Developing and implementing a comprehensive business plan that delivers significant growth and expansion of Parish Buying’s activities.
  • Managing the overall budget for this work and the team, ensuring that the financial model is robust and reflects the unique context of Parish Buying’s work within The Church of England.
  • Ensuring capacity building funding leads to demonstrable growth, and reporting on its impact to relevant stakeholders.
  • Leading the team, and developing an effective plan and structure to grow the capacity of the team to enable it to deliver on the ambitions for Parish Buying.
  • Working with the Parish Buying Procurement Officer within the team, managing and holding to account the key relationships for the delivery of Parish Buying, ensuring that the supplier delivers what has been agreed and to a high level of service.
  • Having responsibility for the development, recording and reporting to the ChECST Board of effective KPIs that show the impact of these different areas of work.
  • Effectively engaging with NCI colleagues on the development of new products and services in Parish Buying that support national church priorities such as Transforming Effectiveness[1] and Net Zero 2030.
  • Working with the Marketing Officer to ensure the effective promotion of Parish Buying with churches, cathedrals, dioceses and other partners.


The ideal candidate should have:

Desirable Experience

  • A professional qualification in Business Administration, Procurement, Marketing or Service.
  • Experience of leading teams to design and deliver services using user-led design methods and with a strong rooting in user input.
  • Commercial expertise, which may include profit and loss responsibility for an area of business
  • Experience of procurement, ideally in a range of organisations, and ideally across a range of goods and services. This need not be as a procurement specialist, but having had responsibility for an area of significant spend.
  • Delivery oriented with skills to grow usage and impact through effective marketing.
  • Quantifiable track record of delivering significant benefits within either the private, charitable or public sector through both strategic and operational initiatives.
  • Entrepreneurial track record ideally within a larger and/or complex organisation.
  • Experience of working within the church and an understanding of the culture at both parish and diocesan level.
  • Experience of successfully leading change, through encouraging adoption of procurement initiatives, or other cultural/organisational change.
  • Experience of leading and working within teams to inspire /achieve transformations.

Desirable competencies

  • An entrepreneurial approach, with an ability to see opportunities and develop plans and strategies to achieve them.
  • Strong negotiating skills and the ability to negotiate in a way that is in sympathy with the mission and ethos of the Church.
  • Strong leadership, team working and influencing skills.
  • Creativity and innovation with a ‘problem solving’ mindset.
  • Effective written and oral communication, especially in presenting to large groups.
  • Very strong self-motivator and initiator.

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.