Parish Buying Procurement Officer

This job has now expired
Hybrid– mixture of remote working and London or Diocesan office or home working
Employee
£43,070 p.a. rising to £51,549 p.a. 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 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.

Parish Buying was established in 2011 and serves The Church of England and the Church in Wales. It has a turnover in excess of £10M with 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.

Vision for this role

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].

This role will build on the strong foundations established by the current postholder, who will be retiring in early 2023. The role will be key in expanding the reach and the effectiveness of Parish Buying under the leadership of the new Head of Parish Buying role (currently also being recruited for).

Parish Buying operates as a distinct entity within the national church’s trading company, Church of England Central Services Trading (ChECST), and the Head of Parish Buying is accountable to the ChECST Board for this area of work.

The main responsibilities fir this role are:

  • Develop a comprehensive understanding of worshipping communities needs and demands to deliver an effective and procurement focussed road map via a detailed plan to respond to those needs by identifying new suppliers and products and services in tandem with third party providers, such as the principal incumbent 2buy2.
  • Collaboratively specify and instruct relevant third parties (such as 2buy2), and/or deliver competitive pricing, contract terms and Service Level Agreements consistent with the NCIs Procurement Policy through regularly carrying out procurement exercises and tenders for the adopted product categories.
  • Manage relationships with key suppliers to ensure that the contract terms are delivered, regular supplier management reports are initiated, provided and that service improvements are continually reviewed and implemented.
  • Ensure performance of suppliers against contracts is monitored, and that savings and other objectives (such as CO2 measurement or digital giving coverage) can be quantified, benchmarked and communicated widely, whilst assisting the Head of Parish Buying in reporting against contracted outcomes to the ChECST Board.
  • Communicate the value of procurement to parishes, cathedrals and dioceses, and raise awareness of Parish Buying, through the provision of training events and presentations. This will require working closely with the Marketing Officer (Parish Buying) in the creation of relevant training and presentation resources, and developing a strategy for their deployment.
  • Work closely with the Marketing Officer (Parish Buying) to promote the contracts in conjunction with the suppliers through digital communications and other media, liaison with diocesan key contacts and attending diocesan events.
  • Work collaboratively and in partnership with the NCI Procurement team on joint initiatives that leverage and benefit NCIs, worshipping communities and parish ministry alike.

The ideal candidates should have:

Qualification

  • Educated to degree level or equivalent.
  • A professional qualification is desirable. This might include full or associate membership of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply, or some other relevant professional qualification.

Experience

Success in the role will require a combination of commercial, relationship building and procurement skills. The combination of experiences is not prescribed, but is likely to include some of the following:

  • Experience of some energy procurement, perhaps across a range of service based organisations, ideally across a wide range of goods and services. This need not be as a procurement specialist, but having had responsibility for an area of significant spend.
  • Commercial expertise, which may include profit and loss responsibility for an area of business.
  • Experience of collaboration and influencing through communications across the areas of procurement, marketing, training, and sales.
  • Quantifiable track record of delivering significant benefits within either the private or not for profit (third) sector through both strategic and operational initiatives.
  • Experience and/or an understanding of working within the church and in empathy across worshipping communities culture at both parish and diocesan level.
  • Experience of successfully leading change, through encouraging adoption of procurement initiatives, or other cultural/organisational change.

Essential competencies required

  • Good understanding of procurement process and how to leverage buying power across a devolved institution with competing and often complex priorities
  • Strong negotiating skills and the ability to negotiate in a way that is in sympathy with the mission, ethics, values and ethos of the Church
  • Strong leadership and influencing skills
  • Strong analytical and data management skills
  • Effective written and oral communication, especially in presenting to large groups.
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Very strong self-motivator and collaborative initiator and networker, as the role requires unsupervised working.

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.