Chaplain to the Bishop of Bristol

This job has now expired
£27,350 per annum

The Bishop of Bristol, Vivienne Faull, is seeking to appoint a Chaplain to support her in her ministry and leadership of the Diocese.

This is an exciting opportunity to join a small senior team. The Bishop is looking for a skilled and experienced priest to provide spiritual, pastoral administrative and liturgical support and so enable her to make connections with clergy, parishes and church ventures and strengthen our relationships with civil society Informal enquires should be addressed to Sarah Beach, EA to the Bishop of Bristol. Tel: 01454 777728 or email We believe that diversity enables us to thrive and develop.

Those with disabilities or those from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds are under-represented in our diocese so we particularly encourage applications from people in these groups.

To support and facilitate the ministry of the Bishop of Bristol by:

  • Supporting the Bishop spiritually, liturgically and administratively in her ministry and leadership of the Diocese;
  • Supporting the Bishop in her civic, House of Lords and national church responsibilities;
  • Supporting the Bishop’s Senior Staff Team in leading the Diocese;

The main responsibilities for this role are:

Supporting the Bishop in her responsibilities

Pastoral and spiritual

  • Act as confidant and pastor to the Bishop, providing counsel and spiritual support to the Bishop in her own ministry; praying regularly for and with the Bishop
  • Act as a sounding board and advisor to the Bishop
  • Be available as someone to whom the Bishop can talk in complete confidence
  • Act as the Bishop's personal representative with individuals, to parishes and at particular events/meetings, and on task groups within the Diocese
  • Liaise with clergy and lay leaders of the Diocese as necessary, acting as an ambassador for the Bishop throughout the Diocese and beyond
  • Liaise with the Bishop’s EA to ensure coordinated support for the Bishop
  • Draft letters, emails and answer questions; liaise with other members of the Bishop’s Staff, with a particular responsibility for difficult letters and complaints

Liturgical and leading worship

  • Liaise with the Dean and the Minor Canon for Worship in relation to episcopal services in the Cathedral
  • Liaise with parochial clergy or lay officers in relation to services at which the Bishop will preside in parish churches and oversee the development of orders of service
  • Attend the Bishop in the Cathedral on principal feasts and at ordinations, and other major services, including driving as required
  • Attend the Bishop as required at institutions, licensings and confirmations in the Diocese, including driving as required
  • Preach and preside at services around the Diocese when required or requested
  • Continuing to develop the Bishop’s Chapel as a place for services and prayer including leading/presiding at Communion and Morning and Evening Prayer

Research, preparation and liaison

  • Ensure that the Bishop is fully and appropriately briefed for all engagements
  • To carry out research, as required, into matters related to the Bishop’s membership of the House of Lords and General Synod
  • Research, as required, matters to be considered by the House of Bishops and the College of Bishops
  • Work with the Diocesan Director of External Relations to ensure the Bishop is appropriately represented in the media

Practical and flexible

  • Drive the Bishop on occasion to meetings, services and engagements
  • Travel with the Bishop as required
  • Undertake whatever other tasks the Bishop may reasonably expect

Supporting the Bishop’s Staff Team

  • Be secretary and critical friend to the Bishop’s Staff, including preparing the agenda, researching matters, writing papers and making recommendations as required, contributing to the discussion, taking minutes and ensuring that decisions are implemented
  • Help to maintain and build on the effective and efficient communication which exists among the Bishop’s Staff
  • Attend meetings of the Area Deans, Lay Chairs, and the Diocesan Synod

Ensuring effective procedural administration

  • Work closely with the Director of People and the HR Team to ensure the administration of clergy parochial appointments for beneficed and licensed office holders in the Diocese operate smoothly, particularly with regard to the Bishop’s responsibilities
  • Be the first point of contact for ‘bishop to bishop’ enquiries, reference requests and Permissions to Officiate
  • Prepare and issue Formal Notifications for clergy appointments
  • Review clergy blue files on receipt, prior to issuing a Current Clergy Status Letter and prior to sending on to a receiving Diocese
  • Take particular responsibility for Subject Access Requests
  • Ensure the Bishop’s Office manages its responsibilities in relation to Clergy Terms of Service
  • Oversee any processes related to the Clergy Discipline Measure
  • Liaise with the Registry and others on matters relating to Clergy discipline and conduct
  • Liaise with the Registry with regard to ordinations; the issue of licences; and other legal documents
  • Represent the Bishop on Diocesan pastoral and transition management groups


  • Work closely with the Diocesan Safeguarding Officer on issues related to clergy and safeguarding
  • Be a member of the Diocesan Safeguarding Steering Group
  • Chair Safeguarding Core Group meetings dealing with concerns about individual clergy
  • Ensure Clergy Personal Files are maintained with regard to safeguarding issues

Personal and professional

  • Have a spiritual director or mentor
  • Have a willingness to take advantage of professional development opportunities
  • Be part of the national and regional networks of Bishops’ Chaplains
  • This post is subject to a DBS check

The person appointed will be someone who demonstrates:

  • Flexibility to support the Bishop as she learns the culture of the Diocese of Bristol and the exercise of episcopal ministry within that
  • Generosity, grace and warmth to support the Bishop’s offering of hospitality in the office, and from time to time at home
  • Spiritual maturity sufficient to fulfil the role of priest to the Bishop and develop the life of prayer of the Bishop’s Chapel
  • Liturgical skill and experience to liaise credibly with the Cathedral clergy and the clergy of all traditions across the diocese
  • Pastoral skill to engage appropriately to all with whom the Bishop encounters.
  • Theological depth, a non-partisan demeanour and on-going reflective practice
  • Experience in public ministry and motivated to support the Bishop’s ministry in civil society including the House of Lords



  • The person appointed will be a priest in the Church of England or a Church in full Communion with it. This means an ordained Anglican cleric who can conduct worship on behalf of the Bishop and administer all sacraments appropriate to the Church of England. This post has attached to it an occupational requirement under the 2010 Equality Act, Part 1, Schedule 9.

Theological learning, professional and personal development

  • Evidence of ongoing learning and development
  • Willingness to learn new skills and areas of expertise
  • Openness to considering and reflecting on new ideas
  • Having a mentor, coach, work consultant, spiritual director or equivalent

Ministry and work background

  • Significant experience of parochial ministry
  • Experience of extra parochial roles in deanery or diocese
  • Minimum of six years in Holy Orders
  • Have proven administrative skills, be computer literate and social media savvy.
  • Liturgically sensitive and skilled.

Working with others

  • Collegial and collaborative team member
  • Experience of leading teams/task groups
  • Upholding confidentiality and cabinet responsibility
  • Working confidently and respectfully across theological traditions
  • Experience of employment related or legal processes (e.g. grievance, disciplinary)
  • Effective personal time management
  • Willing to seek and receive honest feedback and to learn from experience
  • Emotionally intelligent and resilient

Non-clergy staff will be automatically enrolled into the 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.