Church Buildings Adviser (maternity cover)

This job has now expired
The Diocesan Office, Wells, Somerset, plus travel across the Diocese

We are blessed as a diocese with over 560 open church buildings, which provide wonderful, creative opportunities for our parishes to connect with their communities.

This role will enable you to engage with people locally, walking alongside them, to enable and empower them with the tools, resources and skills to secure the long-term sustainable future of their buildings as places of mission and welcome. You will combine great signposting skills as well as an ability to offer bespoke support – no two parishes are the same but seeing the bigger picture of churches across the diocese, alongside your own expertise, is invaluable for supporting and resourcing people locally.

Engaging in conversation about creative use of churches is exciting and future focused: exploring their faith, cultural and social value, which goes beyond the boundaries of a particular locality. The day-today reality of being custodians of an ancient building being can be daunting for our parishes and therefore it is not just guidance for the care of the fabric which is essential, but also supporting them to find ways to share the responsibility, exploring all the possibilities and opportunities

The role is pivotal, particularly due to the current challenges of the cost-of-living crisis, rising fuel costs and supporting churches in becoming net zero carbon buildings. We know from experience, that parishes particularly value the input of a Church Buildings Adviser and so you have the opportunity to gain genuine satisfaction and feel rewarded in this role by making a true impact on the front line.

It is desirable but not essential to have a developed understanding and experience of building conservation, churches and their history. To have an understanding of net zero solutions and keen interest in sustainability would also be beneficial.

You will be supported by the Deanery and Parish Support Team, the wider diocesan team, and the Archdeacons. You will also work closely with the Diocesan Advisory Committee, drawing on their expertise.

Supporting and inspiring churches in the creative development of their buildings – including exploring greater community use and change of use:

  • Work with Archdeacons, the Parish Consultancy Officer, Giving and Funding Adviser and Mission Team to facilitate and resource PCC discussions and decisions about the future of church buildings for mission.
  • Connect churches with relevant diocesan staff and other groups who can provide support and good practice guidance on building use e.g. DAC, Church Visitors and Tourism Association, Germinate etc.
  • Offer practical guidance, advice and resources to churches about adapting their buildings for worship, and community use, including innovative and entrepreneurial uses.
  • Support churches considering adaptations to their buildings by:
    • giving guidance on collaborating with the local community and external agencies such as local authorities and Heritage England
    • giving guidance and helping churches access support when completing application forms to obtain the necessary permissions.
  • Work with the DAC to ensure processes and communications are effective and enable churches to fulfil their mission.
  • Maintain an up-to-date knowledge of different approaches to the funding of projects and grants and be able to advise churches appropriately, in collaboration with other diocesan staff.
  • Make links with appropriate external bodies such as local authorities, cultural, tourism and community organisations in order to stimulate active support for places of worship and promote their wider use.
  • Promote church buildings as part of the region’s tourism offer, reflecting both their heritage and their Christian ethos.

Supporting churches with maintenance and repair issues – including advice/support on obtaining funding

  • Work to support PCCs to ensure that church buildings are fit for purpose and in good repair for a wide range of activities beyond their primary role as a place of worship.
  • Offer assistance and training to church communities in the benefits of regular preventative maintenance programmes for buildings, including training on a deanery basis, to keep buildings fit for mission.
  • Advise and assist churches in raising or seeking funding for ongoing maintenance and major repairs, including grants. Working closely with the Giving and Funding Adviser to understand the financial context of the parish.


  • Undertake specific projects that support churches in making good use of their buildings, in discussion with the Head of Deanery and Parish Support.
  • Keep in contact with relevant developments nationally, in other dioceses, and with statutory consultees to ensure that parishes are offered up to date and relevant information.
  • Any other reasonable duties as agreed with the Head of Deanery and Parish Support

The Diocese of Bath & Wells is seeking someone to support people in our parishes to develop their buildings as living places of mission for their communities.

In this role you will be responsible for:

  • Providing expertise on the use, adaptation and maintenance of church buildings as places of worship, mission and growth
  • Supporting and inspiring churches in the creative development of their building, including exploring greater community use and change of use
  • Helping churches address maintenance and repair issues, including advice and support on obtaining funding

Our churches want to make the best use of their buildings and have good ideas but often don’t have the practical expertise to put their vision into practice. Your support, and signposting to resources, will give them the confidence to ensure that their buildings are properly maintained in the short-term and help them to imagine how their buildings might be adapted for the church of the future.

The Diocese of Bath and Wells is one of 41 Church of England dioceses in the country. The diocese stretches from Portishead in the north to Crewkerne in the south, Minehead in the west to Frome in the east.

The diocese loves and serves the 940,000 people who live here through its family of 466 parishes . This family works for the good of local communities in a range of practical as well as pastoral ways; caring for the vulnerable in our societies, supporting local families and encouraging children and young people.

Everything the diocese does is underpinned by prayer and worship and is driven by our vision:

“In response to God’s immense love for us, we seek to be God’s people, living and telling the story of Jesus.”

If you are the person called to this role, you will be arriving in the diocese at a time of significant change and you will have a unique role to play in the diocesan strategy, which has these three strategic priorities:

  • To place mission and evangelism at the heart of all we do.
  • To re-align our ministry resources towards mission.
  • To identify, develop, and release the gifts of all our people.