Church Commissioners Closed Church Case Officer

This job has now expired
London and South-East region. Flexible working between home, Church House Westminster, or a diocese office in the region subject to agreement.
Employee
£52,084 per year

Our aim is for everyone in the National Church Institutions (NCIs) to feel that they belong, and are valued for who they are and what they contribute. Together, our people contribute in different ways towards our common purpose, whichever NCI they work in and whatever their background.

The Church Commissioners for England wish to appoint a professionally qualified Case Officer to work alongside Dioceses in the London and South East region of England​, to settle the future and disposal of closed church properties.

This is a unique role. You will be part of a regionally located specialist national team who pro-actively deal with the legislative processes and sensitive issues associated with settling the future and disposal of closed churches including providing specialist advice on the suitability of proposed uses, together with property and planning issues.

You will be able to use your initiative and professional skills to negotiate with a wide range of stakeholders including dioceses, local authorities, parish councils, Historic England, agents, legal representatives, local residents, community organisations and purchasers.

Professionally qualified (MRTPI / RICS / RIBA / IHBC or equivalent), you will ideally have experience of working with buildings of historic significance. You will be a self-motivated team player with good communication and IT skills and be able to travel extensively, to fulfil the duties of the post.

Location: London and the South-East region including the London, Southwark, Canterbury, Rochester and Guildford dioceses. The allocation of dioceses may change over time. Flexible working between home, Church House Westminster or a diocese office in the region subject to agreement.

The Church of England is for everyone, and we want to reflect the diversity of the community the Church serves across the whole country. Therefore, while of course we welcome all applications from interested and suitably experienced people, we would particularly welcome applicants from UK Minority Ethnic Backgrounds and disabled people.

To arrange an informal conversation, please contact jeremy.tipping@churchofengland.org

Interviews will be held w/c 17 April 2023.

We offer a unique environment with opportunities for continuous learning, generous annual leave for work life balance, season ticket loans and a range of benefits including discounted entry to attractions and what we feel is a market leading package when it comes to our pension scheme.

The Role

Closed Churches Casework

  • Building beneficial working relationships between dioceses and the Commissioners and proactively drive forward closed churches casework, working in partnership with dioceses and, where agreed, on behalf of dioceses in the ‘use seeking’ process.
  • Work with and/or oversee Diocesan/Commissioners marketing agents, seeking marketing appraisals and valuations, providing guidance and authorising sales/marketing documentation.
  • Where appropriate seek planning permissions prior to marketing or prepare planning briefs and seek local authority agreement to those briefs.
  • Negotiating with local authorities and other relevant bodies.
  • Use judgement and skills to organise meetings with appropriate bodies to progress cases. This may include local council leaders, ward councillors, planning officers, Historic England and other interested parties.
  • Attending and reporting to Diocesan Mission & Pastoral Committees and/or Use Seeking Sub-Committees to keep them updated on progress of casework and the Commissioners updated on Diocesan proposals for reorganization that may lead to new closures.
  • Preparing reports for the Commissioners’ Mission, Pastoral and Church Property Committee and attending where required.
  • Advising diocese, interested bodies including Historic England, Local Planning Authorities and Amenity Societies, solicitors and prospective purchasers on the statutory provisions set out in the Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011 and the latest version of the Code of Recommended Practice in respect of consecrated closed Churches.
  • Meeting prospective purchasers and understanding their proposals.
  • Drafting Schemes under the Mission and Pastoral Measure and administering the publication process.
  • Consulting in the locality on draft Scheme proposals and where appropriate engaging with local residents through meetings and drop-in sessions to ensure an understanding of the proposals and processes.
  • Legal instructions on sales/disposals, covenants and variations to covenants.
  • Negotiations with prospective purchasers, their legal representatives and agreement of heads of terms.
  • Ensure proposed uses are in accord with the Commissioners’ policy on suitable uses for closed church buildings.
  • To seek the best use for buildings and, within the constraints of ‘appropriate use’ the best price.
  • To maintain accurate and up to date casework records in both electronic and hard copy formats.
  • Organise and attend meetings and site visits to progress casework.
  • Undertake work in accordance with the Mission and Pastoral Measure Code of Recommended Practice.

Other Duties.

  • Assist with reports, arrangements and where appropriate attend the annual Mission, Pastoral and Church Property Committee Visit.
  • Monitoring the emerging Local Development Frameworks (LDF) within a geographic area of the country to try and ensure that they make facilitative provision for the future of closed church buildings.
  • Provide a specialist advice to dioceses on planning issues, the operation of the Pastoral Measure and ecclesiastical law in general.
  • Keep up to date with the development of heritage legislation and its impact on new uses for closed churches.

The Requirements

Essential

Skills/Aptitudes:

  • Ability to be flexible and use own initiative to pro-actively drive forward casework.
  • Manage own time and caseload (approx. 50 cases) with minimum supervision.
  • Strong organisational skills with ability to apply discretion and judgement.
  • Ability to negotiate and influence a wide range of stakeholders.
  • Ability to understand and explain legal documentation and to grasp ecclesiastical law and procedures.
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Good team member.

Knowledge/Experience:

  • Writing reports, preparing briefs, and developing client proposals, including through the planning process.
  • Making presentations.

Personal Attributes:

  • Good data/IT and research skills.
  • Able to travel extensively to various geographical locations to fulfil the duties of the post.

Education:

  • Educated to degree level or equivalent with planning or related qualifications (MRTPI, RIBA, RICS or IHBC).

Circumstances:

  • Extensive travel within England with occasional overnight stays.
  • Operate from a regional base.

Desirable

Skills/Aptitudes:

  • Awareness of pastoral issues in closed church casework, especially where churchyards are involved.
  • Driving licence.

Knowledge/Experience:

  • An understanding of the workings of the Mission and Pastoral Measure and related ecclesiastical legislation.
  • An understanding and empathy with the structure and culture of the Church of England.

In the National Church Institutions (NCIs), we support the mission and ministries of the Church of England. We work with parishes, dioceses, schools, chaplaincies and other ministries, and with national and international partners including mission agencies, and other denominations and faith groups.-.

Find out more about working for the National Church Institutions by visiting Careers | The Church of England

NCI values

  • We strive for excellence
  • We collaborate
  • We act with integrity
  • We show compassion
  • We respect others

We welcome everyone and we accept and value people for who they are and what they contribute, treating others in the way we would wish to be treated ourselves. We actively listen to and include others, encouraging and enabling everyone’s voice to be heard in discussions and decisions. When we disagree, we aim to disagree well with respect and kindness.

We want to encourage applications from a diverse group of people. Even if you have never thought about working for us before, if you have the skills and experience we’re looking for then we would like to hear from you. If there is anything we can do to support you in your application please get in touch via email to hr.recruitment@churchofengland.org.

  • As a Disability Confident Leader, we actively look to attract, recruit and retain those of you who are disabled.
  • We are a member of the Armed Forces Covenant, and welcome applications from those of you who have served in our Armed Forces and their families.