Assistant to the Archdeacon of Barnstaple

This job has now expired
£21,500 - £23,250 depending on experience (1.0 FTE) per annum

An exciting opportunity has arisen for an experienced administrator to work with Archdeacon to provide an efficient and effective administrative and organisational support service that promotes effective communication internally and externally with archdeaconries, deaneries, parishes and key stakeholders.

The Diocese of Exeter is currently operating a hybrid pattern of office- and home-based working; as we emerge from the pandemic, the normal place of work will be diocesan offices, combined with some home working. There is the expectation of occasional travel throughout the county of Devon, very occasionally on evenings and at weekends.

  • Office Location: To be agreed with successful candidate
  • Contracted Hours: 16 hours per week (4 hours per day, 4 days a week: 0.44 FTE)

Relationship Building

  • Provide a discreet, courteous, and efficient first point of contact for all communication to the Archdeacons, showing sensitivity and tact.
  • Build understanding and effective relationships with clergy, parochial officers, the Bishop’s Staff and Diocesan Staff.
  • Build and maintain a close working relationship with the Archdeacons and clergy in the Archdeaconry areas.
  • Alert Archdeacons and clergy to emerging issues and work collaboratively in resolving them.
  • Serve as a collaborative member of the Archdeacon’s teams, providing support where necessary.
  • Work collaboratively with assistants to the Archdeacons of Plymouth & Totnes and Exeter to provide support and a point of external contact for the four Archdeacons collectively.

Administration Support

  • Provide high quality support to the Archdeacon; a discreet, courteous, efficient, and informative first point of contact for clergy and lay officers.
  • Receive and prioritise a wide range of enquiries by phone, email, and post, drafting responses or redirecting/liaising with the Archdeacons, as necessary.
  • Manage the Archdeacon’s diary in Outlook and liaise with the Bishop’s senior staff, their assistants, and diocesan employees, as necessary.
  • Manage written and email correspondence and all incoming calls.
  • Book meeting rooms when necessary and arrange refreshments and additional catering requirements, as necessary.
  • Ensure that the Archdeacon has the background information they need on a weekly basis: maintain an efficient system for tracking papers and ensure that all papers for meetings are gathered together.
  • As part of the team of Archdeacons’ Assistants, ensure that cover for telephone and email response for the four Archdeacons is provided across all working weekdays in the year.
  • Purchase office supplies on behalf of the Archdeacon.
  • Collate relevant details and complete the Archdeacon’s monthly expenses claim form, maintaining an oversight of the Archdeacon’s budget as set by EDBF Ltd and keeping the Archdeacon informed on expenditure vs budget.

Vacancy Management and Common Tenure administration

  • Set up initial meetings between parishes and the Archdeacon, liaise with parishes over their profiles (In consultation with the Archdeacon).
  • Contact with Patrons, as necessary.
  • Draw up advert & upload to the diocesan website and arrange for advertising on the Church of England website and when required liaise with Church Times (in consultation with the parishes) and such other media as may be from time to time required.
  • Respond to any other information requested by prospective candidates.
  • Liaise with the parish representatives over programme for the interviews including any orientation day.
  • Take up candidate references after shortlisting.
  • Invite successful candidate to complete online DBS application, carry out DBS ID checks, complete & submit the application.
  • Ensure relevant information is retained re UKBA requirements.
  • Draft Statement of Particulars & Role Description for newly appointed candidates in line with their post.
  • Draft Statement of Particulars; for newly ordained clergy, for licensed and for clergy whose appointment has changed.
  • Create/update vacancy information on the diocesan database and draft the monthly vacancy report for the agenda of Bishop’s Staff meetings.
  • Organise and administer Ministerial Development Review for clergy

Information Management

  • Work as part of a team to process Disclosure and Barring Service checks for licensed and newly appointed to be licensed clergy, including completion of online DBS applications as required.
  • Use appropriate IT packages to keep the national clergy register up to date in line with current legislation.
  • Archdeacon’s Visitations: administer the process with the relevant paperwork between the Archdeacon’s office and the parishes, Rural Deans and Registrar. Deal with any queries arising and prepare for the Visitation services. Attend Visitation services to ensure attendance lists are completed and to deal with any administrative matters arising.
  • Articles of Enquiry and PCC forms: Follow up returns and any actions arising. Assist with follow up on PCC officers to ensure database is up to date.
  • Keep accurate notes, correspondence and records, and place on file as appropriate.
  • Develop and maintain an efficient electronic filing system for the Archdeacons, including confidential files, keeping files up to date in line with the requirements of UK GDPR.
  • Ensure information management systems and policies are adhered to, including Data Protection policies.
  • Retain or dispose of files as appropriate in accordance with data retention policies.
  • Safeguarding: Liaise with Safeguarding Team to ensure compliance from parishes.
  • Ensure Churchwardens remain up to date with Quinquennial Inspections in conjunction with the DAC Secretary and Adviser, and address and follow up action are required.
  • Archdeacon’s Inspections: Liaise with Rural Deans to carry out these on behalf of the Archdeacons; receive the reports and note any issues to be managed.


  • Ensure Safeguarding training and awareness completed to required level Foundation (C1).
  • Work with People team to ensure that they keep up to date with safeguarding issues as they affect own area of work.
  • Operate in accordance with all Diocesan Safeguarding Policy and practices.

Equality and Diversity

  • Role model inclusive behaviours in day to day working practices.
  • Work in accordance with diocesan equal opportunity policies.

Future Role Development

  • The Diocese of Exeter is transforming some of its administrative practices. There will be an opportunity for the individual to help shape new practices. It should also be noted that some of the role areas listed above might be amended as a result of reviews that are currently taking place and flexibility will be required to ensure the smooth transition into any new roles or procedures.

Qualifications and Training


  • Professional experience and relevant qualifications and/or education to ‘A’ level.
  • Good secretarial and typing skills.


  • First Aid at work qualification.



  • Experience of providing administrative support within a diverse working environment.
  • Proven organisational skills with attention to detail and accuracy, using initiative to plan and prioritise workload from two Archdeacons; determining which piece of work needs to be completed first and responding flexibly to circumstances.
  • Experience of working as a key member of a team demonstrating good interpersonal skills and a collaborative style of working.
  • Experience of committee administration


  • Experience of establishing and maintaining systems- setting up paper based and electronic filing.
  • Experience working in charitable or similar organisation.



  • Excellent oral communications and a professional telephone manner.
  • Able to communicate effectively with a broad range of people, providing accurate and timely responses/advice.
  • Good written communication skills; able to articulate concepts accurately and succinctly.
  • Numerate with financial knowledge and related skills
  • Advanced IT skills, including knowledge of Microsoft Office: Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Microsoft Teams and Zoom.
  • Willingness and aptitude to learn to use new technology to support the work of the Archdeacons.


  • An understanding of the parish system and the wider organisation of the diocese.
  • Knowledge of the MS Office 365 suite of programs, including MS Teams.

General Requirements


  • Welcome in person visitors and receive incoming enquiries and telephone calls, dealing promptly and courteously with enquires.
  • Ensure all health and safety instructions are followed and that care is taken to ensure safety for self and colleagues, reporting concerns immediately.
  • Sensitive to the different cultures, traditions and activities within the Church and maintain a consistent approach to clergy and non-clergy matters.
  • Commitment to anti-discriminatory practices within the Church of England’s legal context.


  • Understanding of the Church of England, its parochial system and the wider organisation of the Diocese

Personal Requirements


  • Welcoming and friendly, able to create a good rapport whilst maintaining professionalism.
  • Able to use discretion when dealing with complex, sensitive/confidential issues.
  • In sympathy with the aims, values and ethos of the Diocese of Exeter and of the mission and ministry of the Church of England.


  • Practising communicant member of the Church of England, or of a church belonging to the Churches together in England.