Palace Administrator

This job has now expired
Bishop's Palace, Canon Lane, Chichester
£25,877 per annum (plus 2023 cost of living increase payable from 1 January 2023)

This post provides an opportunity to work in a small, close-knit team supporting the ministry of the Bishop of Chichester. The focus of the role is on ensuring that the Bishop's Palace, the Bishop's official residence and a historic grade-I listed building, is a place of warmth and hospitality for the many groups and individuals who visit it in the course of the year. This involves coordinating use of the public areas of the Palace for internal meetings and external bookings, providing a high and consistent standard of welcome and service to all visitors, as well as planning and logistics for larger events. The post holder is also responsible for day-to-day administration relating to the Bishop's office and Palace estate including health & safety and routine maintenance, for processing bills and payments and the Bishop's working expenses, and for generally contributing to the smooth running of the office.

We are looking forward to appointing a highly organised, flexible, hospitable and energetic colleague, who thrives on a busy and varied workload and is used to working proactively both on their own initiative and as part of a small team. Some experience of event planning and hospitality will be important, as well as more broadly of general office administration including basic financial knowledge.

The post holder will need to be able to understand their role as part of the overall ministry of the Bishop of Chichester, and to be sympathetic to the Christian faith which provides the context for the work of the Palace office team.

The main responsibilities for this role are:

Events & meetings

  • Acting as first point of contact for those wishing to use a space in the Palace for a parish or community event
  • Confirming booking requests with the Bishop and coordinating with the Bishop's PA to avoid diary conflicts
  • Meeting and event planning, including logistics in relation to major events such as the summer marquee events, clergy induction days and the Order of St Richard
  • Ensuring events are appropriately documented and risk assessed
  • Arranging refreshments and other hospitality including booking caterers as appropriate
  • Room set-up, including AV and moving furniture as required

Palace administration

  • Logging and tracking routine maintenance requirements, including liaison with the estate managers (currently Savills) and appointed contractors
  • Health & safety administration, including fire alarm testing and being an administrator for the Church Commissioners' online health & safety management system
  • Receiving all correspondence which arrives at the Palace and forwarding to the relevant staff as necessary
  • Responding to letters as directed by the Bishop or his Chief of Staff


  • Palace financial administration including payment of invoices and bills and processing the Bishop’s working expenses
  • Administration for charitable funding such as Henry Smith Charity, Queen Victoria Clergy Fund, Maundy Money


  • Welcome and provide refreshments and appropriate hosting to those visiting the Palace for an event or meeting
  • General administrative duties to ensure the smooth running of the Bishop’s Office, e.g. processing outgoing mail and monitoring the stock of stationery and other supplies
  • Other tasks as reasonably directed by the Bishop of Chichester or his Chief of Staff

The ideal candidate should have:



  • Experience of event planning and organisation
  • Some relevant background in venue and office management
  • Proven ability to forge and develop strong working relationships
  • Ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously, sometimes to tight schedules
  • Experienced in managing and prioritising a varied workload effectively
  • Evidence of working collaboratively


  • Good general standard of education
  • A confident communicator with the ability to quickly develop rapport
  • Excellent written communication skills
  • Excellent organisational skills, attention to detail, time management
  • Proficient in the use of Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel and other IT
  • Aptitude for developing and reviewing office systems in response to changing demands
  • Basic financial knowledge


  • Well presented, approachable and friendly
  • Willing to take ownership and responsibility for completing a task
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality and to be courteous, diplomatic and discreet
  • Agile with the ability to problem solve with a level head
  • Interest in, or aptitude for understanding, the systems, structures and terminology of the Church of England


  • To be in sympathy with the work and ministry of the Bishop of Chichester
  • Ability to work occasional evenings and weekends as required
  • The position will require some lifting and manual handling
  • Hold a full driving licence and be willing to travel to occasional meetings off-site

Non-clergy staff will be automatically enrolled 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 applications from those who 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 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 amount of interviews conducted to five applicants per open post we advertise.

*Where applicable depending on post requirements.