Senior Executive Assistant to the Secretary (Chief Executive Officer) and First Church Estates Commissioner

This job has now expired
Hybrid: London and home working.
£44,359 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 National Church Institutions (NCIs) are national administrative bodies that work together to support the mission and ministry of the Church of England. Their activities are hugely varied, ranging from management of a multi-billion-pound investment fund, to a grant-giving charity, a housing service for retired clergy and the administration of three multi-employer pension schemes.

The Church Commissioners manage the historic endowment fund of the Church of England and fulfil other administrative functions in support of the Church’s mission. The Secretariat department supports the Chief Executive and the Estates Commissioners in their conduct of the Church Commissioners’ business.

In this key role of Senior Executive Assistant to the Secretary (Chief Executive Officer) and First Church Estates Commissioner, you will provide executive assistance, administrative support and occasional research/policy support to the CEO and First Church Estates Commissioner in all aspects of their work.

You will act as an interface between them and the wider Church/public, leading on the effective planning and delivery of a range of meetings and events. Managing complex diaries, you will work closely with other teams and stakeholders, and liaise with senior contacts in external organisations on their behalf.

You will be highly organised, efficient and confident in your ability to multitask, prioritise, and work proactively in this busy and varied role which includes line-managing the Diary and Events Co-ordinator.

Based at our historic offices at Church House, Westminster for 2-3 days per week, you will also have the flexibility to work from home on a hybrid basis.

To arrange an informal conversation about the role, please contact:

Interviews will be held on the 17/18 April 2023.

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.

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

Providing full Executive Assistant support to the CEO (responsible for the overall management of the organisation and its c.150 staff, and the First Church Estates Commissioner (a Governor who chairs the committee responsible for the £10+bn investment fund). Including:

  • Day-to-day responsibility for ensuring the CEO’s and First Church Estates Commissioner’s complex electronic diaries are proactively and accurately managed. This involves monitoring Inboxes, post and invitations and helping them prioritise and respond, liaising with a range of staff in arranging internal and external meetings via MS Outlook, and being creative when (sometimes last-minute) changes are required or diary clashes must be overcome. (Supported in this work by the Diary & Events Co-ordinator). Being a trusted point of contact within the department, and a professional, diplomatic representative of the individuals served and the Commissioners as an institution.
  • Co-ordinating and managing all travel arrangements for the Chief Executive and First Church Estates Commissioner, including checking routes, purchasing tickets, booking accommodation and solving associated logistical problems. This work involves liaising with other departments and external organisations and can occasionally include overseeing overseas travel arrangements e.g. visas, inoculations etc.
  • Co-ordinating all briefing and other materials for their various meetings, very occasionally accompanying them at meetings or site visits, logging actions and ensuring these are followed up and devising/maintaining effective ways of working with the individuals, making best use of the (sometimes limited) face-to-face contact with them.
  • Day-today responsibility for scheduling all the Church Commissioners’ Board and Committee meetings, including designing and maintaining strategies/ timetables for the organisation (and timely communication) of the different types of meeting. This will in turn help the Senior Administrative & Governance Officer with departmental business planning. This work involves consultation with relevant committee Chairs, secretaries and staff across the NCIs, ensuring agreed patterns/ conditions are followed and identifying/ resolving/ where possible avoiding date clashes. (Supported in this work by the Diary & Events Co-ordinator and high level advice available from Senior Administrative and Governance Officer).
  • Under the overall direction of the Senior Administrative & Governance Officer and assisted by the Diary & Events Co-ordinator, leading the preparation and delivery of significant events. These will include for example the Church Commissioners’ Annual Stakeholder Meeting, General Synod fringe meetings, making arrangements for trustee interviews/ inductions/ shortlisting meetings and arranging dinners and other ad hoc events. Occasional weekend and evening work is required, including at least one full weekend per year at General Synod in York.
  • Pulling together and maintaining presentations, research documents or other resources as required by the CEO and First Church Estates Commissioner and supporting the Senior Administrative & Governance Officer in the production and maintenance of certain departmental resources (e.g. trustee biographies, toolkits, the departmental manual and other trustee/ stakeholder resources). This involves liaising with a range of colleagues and proactively using a range of available sources of information.
  • Recording/ processing the CEO’s and First Church Estates Commissioner’s expenses and using a virtual corporate credit card to make certain purchases on their behalf (e.g. equipment, visas). Delegating some lower-level purchasing to Diary & Events Co-ordinator as appropriate.
  • Attending (and sometimes minuting) certain meetings they attend, such as meetings of the Chief Officers or the Joint Staff Council.
  • Line-managing the Diary & Events Co-ordinator, including delegating appropriately to help ensure even workloads and to help Senior Administrative & Governance Officer ensure optimal deployment of the team members’ skills and experience.
  • Dealing sensitively and intelligently with enquiries and re-routing to other departments/staff as necessary, acting as an interface between the CEO and First Church Estates Commissioner, and other departments and bodies, including liaising with senior contacts in external organisations on their behalf.
  • Supporting Senior Administrative & Governance Officer in the development and maintenance of the Boardvantage portal (including becoming an ‘expert user’, testing and documenting new functions and processes, training other users).
  • Covering for Diary & Events Co-ordinator in their absence.
  • General office duties e.g. handling correspondence/ enquiries/ post.

The Requirements


Knowledge and experience:

  • Extensive EA/Senior PA experience within a senior individual’s office.
  • Extensive experience of managing online diaries for senior individual(s).
  • Evidence of a high level of administrative and organisational ability including document management skills and complete understanding of the full Microsoft suite.
  • Ability to devise and maintain systems to help yourself and your team keep track of multiple workstreams.
  • Experience of training/mentoring staff.
  • Educated to A level standard (or equivalent).
  • Policy work including research, drafting and presentation.
  • Experience of drafting clear, accurate and sensitive briefing material and longer documents to tight deadlines.
  • Experience in minute taking and/or drafting correspondence.

Skills and aptitudes:

  • Proven problem solving and analytical skills. Excellent interpersonal skills including the ability to establish positive working relationships with senior stakeholders and to represent the CEO and First Church Estates Commissioner to external partners.
  • Ability to identify and adapt to changing priorities and work under pressure to achieve deadlines.
  • Ability to communicate effectively at all levels, both orally and in writing.
  • Ability to plan your own work and others’ work effectively.
  • Ability to master and develop new concepts quickly.
  • Sensitivity and good judgement in dealing with urgent and complex matters.
  • Dynamic, self-motivated solution finder.
  • Flexible team player with a service mentality.


  • Experience of supporting multiple senior managers simultaneously.
  • Empathy with the mission and ethos of the Church of England (but please note you do not need to be a member of the Church of England or any other denomination).
  • General knowledge of and interest in the Commissioners’ work and structure.

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

  • 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.