Chief Operating Officer

This job has now expired
Derby Cathedral Centre, 18-19 Irongate, Derby
£55,000 per annum

Derby Cathedral is at the heart of the city of Derby and the life of Derby Diocese and is implementing a strategy for growth.

We have a growing reputation for our music and worship, and for our arts, culture and events programme. We have a deep commitment to be effective in the region’s learning networks, not least in our partnership with Derby Cathedral School. We have ambitious plans for developing our remarkable Grade 1 listed building for more flexible worship and events, and for expanding our heritage offer to visitors and pilgrims.

As Chief Operating Officer you will lead, focus and manage the resourcing of Derby Cathedral for both its operational delivery and its future strategic development in partnership with the Dean, Chapter members, the Cathedral worshiping communities and all stakeholders, current and potential, in Derby, Derbyshire, the East Midlands Region and beyond.

We are looking for an effective senior leader with demonstrable management skills to lead our highly talented and resourceful team. You will be able to operate confidently across a wide range of areas including HR, safeguarding, communications, enterprise, and finance.

This role requires an understanding of the relevance of the Christian faith in the public sphere and a proven track record in leading in a complex environment. If this is you and you have integrity, energy, resilience and high level interpersonal gifts, please get in touch.

To arrange a conversation about the post, please contact Jessica Kilmurray, PA to the Dean of Derby, the Very Rev’d Dr Peter Robinson at

Please complete your application by 12 noon on 22nd March 2023.

Interviews will be held in Derby on 30th and 31st March 2023.

This post carries an occupational requirement to be a member of a Christian denomination which is in sympathy with the Church of England’s life and mission (in accordance with the Equality Act 2010).

An Enhanced DBS check will be required.

For further information, please find the candidate pack attached below.

The Role

Overall Responsibilities and Tasks

  • To lead and manage the employed Cathedral staff and volunteers in their delivery of the Cathedral’s vision and purpose by establishing and embedding behaviours, values and positive performance throughout every aspect of the institution’s life.
  • To be the clerk to the Chapter of Derby Cathedral, and resource it to fulfil its purpose of overseeing effective operations and leading strategic growth and development.
  • To be the principal safeguarding operational administrator and clerk to the Safeguarding Committee; to work closely with the Cathedral Safeguarding Lead and the Chair of the Safeguarding Committee in fulfilment of the Cathedral’s safeguarding aspirations and to negotiate, implement and continually review the Service Level Agreement with the Diocesan Safeguarding Team.
  • To be the Company Secretary to the Derby Cathedral Enterprise Limited and to oversee and manage the development of Derby Cathedral’s commercial enterprises in the context of the post-Covid recovery.
  • To work together with the Dean in establishing a fresh and effective Senior Executive Team, administrating its meetings and ensuring accountability, alignment with Cathedral’s development objectives and priorities, and monitoring of delivery.
  • To participate fully with Chapter, employed staff and volunteers to enable the preparation of a strategic development programme and proactively support access to funding and other resources for it to be conceived, monitored, evaluated and delivered.
  • To be the lead person on Cathedral property, including maintenance and future building projects, the management of the Cathedral Architect’s work, and to be responsible for the shaping and regular updating of the Conversation Management Plan, the Liturgical Plan, the Inventory and the Visitor Engagement Plan.
  • To oversee the Cathedral financial management, budget setting and investment strategy; to lead on funding applications, and to do these things in partnership with the Chair of the Finance Committee, including ensuring the Finance Committee is resourced for both routine and strategic decision making.
  • To manage the Chapter’s communications and publicity strategy; in consultation with the Dean to represent the Cathedral to external bodies and agencies, and to set an outward facing orientation for the staff to frame their contributions to the Cathedral’s mission and ministry.
  • To ensure the Cathedral meets its statutory and constitutional obligations, including managing human resources, health and safety, data protection, the mechanism for reviewing policies and procedures and all other matters of compliance, including leading Chapter’s preparation to meet the requirements of the new Cathedrals’ Measure.
  • To ensure that environmental sustainability is improved so that every aspect of Cathedral life is monitored and developed so that the Cathedral might be seen as an example of good practice both with the diocese and nationally, helping to achieve the Church of England’s carbon neutral target of 2030.
  • To be responsible for the Cathedral’s contingency planning including the management of insurance, disaster and salvage planning and also to oversee the cathedral’s risk management systems and registers.

The Requirements


  • Proven experience of leading operations within a complex environment, and implementing organisation change.
  • Experience of working at Board level with directors/trustees and enabling them to fulfil their roles effectively under charity law.
  • Experience of managing a staff team effectively, and also the management of strategic and project plans.

Knowledge and skills

  • Ability to motivate and inspire a talented and imaginative team of lay employees, and to support their creative development so that they fulfil their potential.
  • Adept at leading strategically to deliver significant objectives.
  • Have an entrepreneurial eye to developing existing income generation and a creative approach to new streams of income sources.
  • In depth understanding of financial processes including budget setting and fundraising, and knowledge of financial management to support vision and strategy.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills coupled with the ability to reflect and communicate critically to colleagues.
  • Ability to find effective solutions to practical challenges as they arise in the everyday life of a cathedral.
  • Awareness of the demands of employment law, and knowledge of Human Resources processes and their application.
  • A secure knowledge of safeguarding matters and how to apply its principles to the day to day life of the church.
  • An understanding of the aims and values of the Church of England and of the place of cathedrals within their dioceses.

Personal Qualities and attributes

  • A listening ear in tandem with professionalism, warmth and empathy towards others.
  • Models collaborative working across all relationships within Cathedral life.
  • Be committed to partnership working with external stakeholders.
  • Able to work efficiently under pressure towards deadlines.
  • A commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion both within the church and in society.
  • Personal integrity and approachability coupled with a sense of humour.
  • This post carries an occupational requirement to be a member of a Christian denomination which is in sympathy with the Church of England’s life and mission (in accordance with the Equality Act 2010).


  • Educated to degree level or equivalent by experience.

The Bishop of Derby inspires the Diocese of Derby to work towards the vision of ‘The Kingdom of God for all’. The diocesan aim in mission is ‘transformed lives through growing church and building community. Through its own vison and strategy Derby Cathedral supports the diocesan vision and aims and seeks to add value as we work together across the whole diocese to proclaim afresh the good news of God’s kingdom.

For further information about Derby Cathedral please visit