This is a unique opportunity for a highly professional and experienced Personal Assistant to provide administrative and office management support to the Bishop of Ebbsfleet.
The Bishop of Ebbsfleet’s role is to provide support to parishes throughout the Church of England who uphold a complementarian understanding of the roles of men and women.
This is a senior post on the Bishop’s personal staff and an opportunity to work with the wider staff of the Bishop of Ebbsfleet, including the chaplain and the Bishops of Chester Diocese and the wider Bishops’ Offices team.
As PA to the Bishop of Ebbsfleet, you will work with team members to extend and enable the ministry of the Bishop in a manner which is proactive, efficient, joyful and supportive.
This is a varied and constantly changing role which includes:
Running and resourcing the Bishop’s Office both remotely and in person
Organising the Bishop’s Diary, working with his priorities, and when necessary protecting him from himself and other’s demands
Proactively ensuring that everything that is needed to facilitate the ministry of the Bishop is at hand
You will be based with the wider administrative team who work together in Bishop’s House, Chester, in order to facilitate and enable shared and collaborative working as a team, with only occasional travel as required, for which mileage will be paid. Bishop’s House is also the residence of the Bishop of Chester and his family and it will be important to relate to the Bishops’ families in a friendly and helpful way.
To be successful you will need a calm and confident approach, proven administrative competence, exceptional interpersonal and organisational skills, as well as extensive experience with office systems and the Microsoft Office Suite.
Please see the Job Description attached below, for full details.
Interviews will be held on Tuesday 4th April 2023.
The Big Picture
Exercise the role of cheerful, welcoming, proactive, horizon scanning, detail monitoring confidante and enabler of the Bishop's Ministry.
Provide efficient administrative and PA support to the Bishop of Ebbsfleet, and additional support to other Bishops in Chester Diocese, including:
Taking a proactive approach towards managing the Bishop’s diary and schedule, within the programme agreed.
Managing those parts of the administrative process of vacancies and appointments which fall within the remit of the office of the Bishop of Ebbsfleet.
Organising and maintaining filing systems both digital and paper, that enable ready access to correspondence, information concerning people, organisations and groups.
Ensuring files are maintained in compliance with GDPR requirements and with an eye to the need for confidential storage.
Ensuring that the Bishop has all necessary paperwork in advance of meetings/engagements, including the House and College of Bishops.
Making arrangements for the Bishop’s travel, booking trains, hotels, and other things as required including providing maps and directions.
Liaising with those maintaining the fabric of the Bishop of Ebbsfleet’s house.
Maintain mailing lists to facilitate the Bishop’s regular communication with parishes and individuals seeking his oversight and collaboration, via newsletters, prayer updates, Christmas cards etc.
Work with the staff team to organise and publicise conferences and events, in particular regional meetings for those in the Bishop’s constituency at locations around England. Take responsibility for aspects of the administration of such events as directed by the Bishop.
Record and maintain information relating to parishes which pass resolutions under the House of Bishops’ Declaration; dioceses with which the Bishop interacts; and other parishes with which he liaises.
Continue to develop the use of Contact Management Software (CMS) to improve, standardise and consolidate records, ensuring records are entered accurately, kept up to date and in accordance with GDPR.
In addition to the above responsibilities for the Bishop of Ebbsfleet, to provide similar support as directed by the Bishop of Chester's PA and Office Manager to the other Bishops of Chester Diocese.
To provide a confident presence in person, on the telephone, and in digital communications, to welcome, serve and care for those interact with the Bishops and maintain a working environment conducive to a Bishop’s home and office.
To take an active part as a member of the wider Bishops’ Office Team across the offices, sharing the flexibility and mutual cover of this team.
The Bishops’ administrative team will be based at Bishop’s House in Chester. Administrative staff will work from this site unless occasionally required elsewhere. Support staff will share tasks and ensure that they can cover for each other as needed.
To promote collaboration and to work closely with colleagues in Bishop’s House and Church House, Daresbury Park.
To welcome visitors to Bishop’s House (Chester) or elsewhere when on official business and ensure that they are dealt with in a polite and courteous manner whether they visit in person or digitally.
To assist where necessary in the making and serving of refreshments to visitors.
All staff working for and with the Bishop of Ebbsfleet and the Bishops of the Diocese of Chester will give proper care and attention to matters of safeguarding, including attending training, careful handling of confidential information, and proper reporting of disclosures.
To ensure that sensitive information is stored in a suitable, confidential manner and that all confidential matters are respected.
Liaising with the member of staff whose role it is to attend to all aspects of hospitality, and occasionally work ‘out of hours’ to assist with large events.
To maintain and update relevant databases and keep all records in accordance with the GDPR requirements.
To process all correspondence arriving in the Bishop’s offices in a timely manner. To take action where necessary, producing draft replies, standard replies and holding letters as necessary.
Maintaining the financial records for the Bishop’s offices, including:
Managing the Bishop’s working expenses using good judgement.
Making general decisions about the budget and have accountability for spending where the Bishop is the signatory.
Being familiar with the “Global Budgets” financial system for budgeting and monitoring of the expenses required to run the Bishop’s offices (including maintenance of spreadsheets recording expenditure and budgets for the Church Commissioners and Quarterly Returns).
Managing other funds held by the Bishop.
Using own initiative in generating standard letters following the agreed process for each.
Responding to enquiries and emails from the local and national media, in liaison with the Bishop’s Chaplain and the Director of Communications.
To undertake duties relating to the national Church of England, including the collation of all papers and making the logistical arrangements for the Bishop’s work relating to General Synod, Commissions, the House of Bishops, College of Bishops and any other national and regional meetings and bodies to which the Bishop belongs.
Administer the arrangements for the Bishop attending services and engagements, including:
Collaborating with the wider Bishops’ Office Team to arrange the annual pattern of episcopal visits
Requesting information regarding services and engagements prior to the event (referring liturgical enquiries to the Bishop and / or the Bishop’s Chaplain and forwarding draft service sheets for information/comment)
Preparing service sheets/invitation letters/responses for diocesan services, as required
Undertaking the administration for confirmation services and other special services
Providing annual statistics of confirmation services and other services as needed.
Essential skills and attributes:
Show maturity in outlook, being at ease with themselves, comfortable working around issues of Christian faith, and emotionally intelligent.
Work with the team to understand the Bishop’s thinking, and act accordingly in a timely manner using sound judgement and their own imagination and initiative.
Be content to work to the Bishop’s agenda, giving complete loyalty in public whilst offering open feedback in private.
Excellent communication skills.
While seeing the bigger picture, work with accurate attention to detail.
Flexible approach to work requirements, particularly in terms of office coverage and duties commensurate with assisting the Bishop to carry forward his work and ministry.
Calm under pressure
Ability to work productively unsupervised and as a lone worker.
Demonstrate an ability to prioritise effectively.
Be a confident presence in the office: in person, on the telephone and in digital communication. Welcome, serve and care for those who interact with the Bishops and maintain a working environment conducive to a Bishop’s home and office.
Sympathy with the aims and objectives of the Church of England.
Proven excellent interpersonal skills applicable to daily complex liaison with clergy, colleagues and the public on the telephone, digitally, and face-to-face.
Maintain total confidentiality and discretion in all sensitive matters, able to recognise and refer safeguarding matters correctly.
High standard of literacy and numeracy.
An ability to be accurate and precise, sometimes under deadline pressure, paying close attention to detail.
Proven secretarial skills including accurate typing, filing and general administration, including skills in data handling and record keeping, both digital and conventional.
Competent user of IT ensuring skills are kept up to date, including an excellent knowledge of Microsoft Office and the ability to arrange online meetings using virtual platforms.
Have a full driving licence and access to a car (or motorbike).
The Diocese of Chester is in the province of York in the Church of England, part of the global Anglican Communion. We are linked with the Anglican Church of Melanesia in the Solomon Islands and the Dioceses of Aru and Boga in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Church of England comprises two Provinces, Canterbury and York. Each province is broken down into dioceses. There are 41 in England (42 including the Diocese in Europe).