The Bishop of Winchester is one of five Church of England bishops who sit in the House of Lords by virtue of their office. Among the Lords Spiritual, he is the lead bishop for issues of Higher and Further Education. He is also Chair of the Higher and Further Education Development Group, and Visitor to a number of University Colleges.
The Bishop is now offering an exceptional opportunity for a talented Public Affairs Assistant, to gain unique experience with Parliamentary and education work, the Diocese of Winchester's wider social engagement, and develop the Bishop's social media profile.
The successful candidate will be a key point of contact, spending much of their time based at the Bishop's offices in Winchester and with the Parliamentary Affairs team in Westminster, accompanying or representing the Bishop in the Houses of Parliament when required.
The role will support the Bishop of Winchester in his diocesan work and in his Parliamentary duties and will add additional capacity to the work of the Parliamentary Unit as well as becoming involved in the Church's wider public policy and Parliamentary work.
Summary of the Role
If you have a passion for politics and education and a keen interest in the public affairs work of the Church of England, then this role will enable you to gain hands on experience working alongside parliamentarians on legislative issues and liaising with key contacts in politics, education and wordwide mission.
This wide-ranging opportunity will include research and information gathering, drafting questions and speeches and managing appointments, events and other activities on behalf of the Bishop of Winchester.
Working flexibly, proactively and collaboratively with the team, colleagues and stakeholders, you will enjoy making things happen, taking responsibility for arranging events, keeping the Bishop informed about key issues and managing the Bishop's social media account.
Interviews will be held on the 30/31 August 2018
The Main Duties
Assisting the Bishop of Winchester in his general parliamentary duties; keeping him informed about parliamentary timetables, key legislation and debates, and other developments, researching issues and drafting material for speeches, interventions, questions, etc.; liaising with the Parliamentary Unit on his behalf.
Assisting the bishop in relation to his higher and further education portfolio; monitoring the progress of related legislation and debates, keeping him informed about current developments in policy; liaising with the Education Office on his behalf and researching issues relating to education in the wider Anglican Communion.
Helping the bishop in promoting the social dimension of Christian life and mission. Identifying, researching and monitoring developments in Christian social engagement at diocesan, national and international levels, and liaising with the bishop’s advisers in relation to specific social needs and projects.
Working with the Parliamentary Unit to ensure that the bishop is kept abreast of the wider activities of the Lords Spiritual and the Parliamentary Unit.
Liaising with other parliamentarians on behalf of the bishop, accompanying the bishop when he is working on the Parliamentary Estate.
Drafting articles and press releases about the bishop’s work, which will be issued in liaison with his Communications Officer.
Assisting with disseminating the Church’s parliamentary responses to specific issues or bills, as agreed with the Head of Parliamentary Affairs or his Deputy.
Developing and maintaining a social media presence for the bishop which profiles his international, national and local roles
Coordinate the bishop’s hospitality, plan and arrange events, guest lists, invitations and catering.
This job description may be changed from time to time in response to the changing needs of the Bishop of Winchester and the Parliamentary Unit.
Working in a team
To meet fortnightly with the Bishop’s Chaplain and PA for a team meeting, diary planning and for strategic forward planning.
To meet regularly with the Bishop for a one-to-one conversation.
To meet with the Bishop’s Chaplain annually for a Personal Development Review.
Together with other members of the team, answering the door and telephone and offering hospitality to visitors.
Tell us how you meet the requirements for the role :
Excellent ICT skills
Excellent communication skills, verbally and in writing
Excellent organisational skills, including time management, diary management etc.
Research skills, with the ability to gather information quickly and accurately
Aptitude for team working
Knowledge / Experience:
Knowledge of Parliamentary processes
Some knowledge of the structures of the Church of England and the Anglican Communion
Proven ability in presenting complex data in manageable and informative ways
Some experience of organising events (receptions, seminars, small and large meetings etc.)
Degree level or equivalent
An open and collaborative working style
Discretion and judgement in handling confidential or sensitive material
Willingness to work creatively with people of differing political and theological persuasions
Willingness and ability to work some unsocial hours when required.
Confidence with a wide variety of social media
Ability to discern the impact of policies, legislation etc. on the Church of England, other churches, and other faith communities
Knowledge / Experience:
Proven administrative ability in drafting briefing papers, press releases, bulletins and other accessible modes of communication
Experience of Parliamentary processes, political parties, think tanks, lobby groups etc.
Knowledge or experience of the worldwide Anglican Communion and ecumenical structures
Familiarity with the Higher/Further Education sector
A grasp of the key issues facing the Church of England in its public role today
A Level (or equivalent) or degree in a relevant subject, such as politics, theology, etc.
Ability to manage his/her own work programme with minimal direct management
Ability to deliver outcomes to deadlines and to work under pressure
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