National Public Policy Advisor (with a particular focus on issues concerning justice and social policy generally)

This job has now expired
Hybrid- remote working and London

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.

This is a senior role, working as part of a small multi-disciplinary team to support and advise the Church of England on matters of public policy and ethics. With the fellow members of the Public Policy team, the post holder will give authoritative, timely and well-researched advice to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York (working closely with the Archbishops’ Public Affairs Advisor who holds the remit within the Faith and Public Life team for liaison with the Office of the Archbishops); to the Lords Spiritual in their Parliamentary role (working through the Parliamentary team within F&PL), to the General Synod, the Archbishops’ Council and other national Church of England bodies, on all matters of public ethics. This will include, for example, responding to Government Consultations, drafting Synod and other papers, briefing and staffing the Archbishops in meetings with government ministers and others and liaison across a wide field of church and church-related NGO, research and campaigning bodies.

The creation at the start of 2022 of a new Faith and Public Life (F&PL) department for the National Church Institutions brings together for the first time a number of outward-facing activities formerly divided between the Archbishops’ Council and the staff of the Archbishops.
Public policy and ethics, Parliamentary support for the Lords Spiritual and Second Church Estates Commissioner, Inter-faith relations, links to the Anglican Communion and Ecumenical relations, along with a number of project teams working on issues as diverse as modern-day slavery, freedom of religion and belief and social impact investment, bring opportunities to learn from one another and work effectively across specialisms. Administrative support for the Public Policy Advisors’ team is provided through the F&PL support team.

The Public Policy work of the F&PL team comes under the oversight of the Mission and Public Affairs Council (a sub-committee of the Archbishops’ Council). A review of the Church of England’s national governance structures is under way and the structures of accountability for the team may change

In order to fulfil this role, you will play a full part in the Public Policy team which is a sub-group of the Faith and Public Life Department, including taking your turn to lead the Public Policy team. You will bring to that team specialist knowledge and experience, specifically in the areas of justice (including criminal justice, prison policy, sentencing etc.) and a wide range of social policy issues such as migration, marriage and family life, poverty, and ways the churches can and should respond. Versatility is key, as is a willingness to work collaboratively with colleagues to pool experience, knowledge and wisdom. The range of policy issues you may be called to work on, are likely to change over time.

Members of the Public Policy team are expected to be skilled in rapid research, in seeing the relevance of interdisciplinary insights and in applying knowledge and expertise from one field to others. You will be encouraged to make full use of any specialisms or qualifications you may bring to the job which do not fall directly within the justice and social policy remit. At present, there is a need for the team to develop additional capacity in the fields of the physical sciences and the ethics of industry, commerce and economics.

In order to offer effective and authoritative advice, you will be proactive in researching up to date thought in your field(s), in developing good working relationships with acknowledged experts who will, in turn, advise you, and initiating pieces of work (short projects, seminars, campaigns etc) which will equip the church to understand the issues better or help the church to get its views across to a wider public. The ability to work closely and collaboratively with the church’s communications specialists is essential.

You will be a team player, able to work creatively to draw others into the work and to contribute effectively to joint projects. You will be able to take, and share, responsibility and drive agendas forward as a member of a hard-working and highly motivated team without neglecting your own support structures and work/life balance.

The main responsibilities for this role are:

  • Advising the Archbishops, Lords Spiritual and other bishops on matters of public policy.
  • Representing the Church of England as required on partnership bodies and at significant events and providing staff support for these where appropriate.
  • Preparing briefing papers and reports for senior staff, bishops, archbishops and member bodies.
  • Maintaining and developing a strong network of contacts with staff counterparts from other churches and church agencies, with civil servants in relevant departments* and with experts in relevant fields of public policy and ethics (including public theology).
  • Participating as required in the Mission and Public Affairs Council (or its successor body) and promoting good working relationships with staff across the NCIs with overlapping interests.
  • Carrying out any other duties as required.

*The most relevant government departments to which this post will relate are (at time of writing): Home Office, MoJ, DCMS, DLUCLG (Levelling Up), Gambling Commission, Domestic Abuse and Victims Commissioner).

Other responsibilities

  • Acting as a point of contact, information and support for Diocesan Officers in related fields of work.
  • Participating regularly in meetings of the Faith and Public Life team and relevant sub groups.

When acting as Public Policy Team Coordinator (every 1—2 years):

  • Ensuring that the Head of the Faith and Public Life team is fully briefed on the Public Policy Team’s activities.
  • Reporting as required to the Mission and Public Affairs Council on the work of the team.
  • Working with the Office of the Archbishops to ensure that the Public Policy team is informed of the Archbishops’ requirements in this area and that the full range of expertise within the Public Policy team is available to support the Archbishops.
  • Contributing as a senior officer in the F&PL staff team to the strategic direction of the team’s activities, taking forward and helping to shape the Church of England’s priorities for public policy engagement.
  • Day to day line management of the other team members.

The ideal candidate should have:



  • Intellectual curiosity and ambition
  • Excellent spoken and written communications skills
  • A strong track record in church involvement in public policy issues
  • A sound understanding of issues of justice, and social policy (areas currently requiring input from the team include: gambling, refugees and migration, prison and sentencing policy, chaplaincy in prisons and the military).
  • Theological and practical understanding of Christian social, political and ethical engagement;
  • Well-honed research skills
  • Proven ability to work in partnership with other church and secular agencies;


  • Ability to master a brief, write concisely and clearly, and provide research and briefing notes for a variety of stakeholders;
  • Able to translate vision and ‘big picture’ thinking into strategy and deliverable outcomes;
  • Able to work quickly – to turn round paperwork, including creative “think pieces”, to time;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including ability to work collaboratively in a team and to form and sustain a wide range of working relationships;
  • Understanding of the different theological traditions within Anglicanism and the ability to present material in ways accessible across those traditions.
  • Attention to detail – including planning for meetings and conferences etc;
  • Competence in IT skills, including Microsoft Word and Outlook.


  • Educated to a level that confers credibility among, and enables confident engagement with, senior church leaders, academics in relevant disciplines including theology,

Personal Attributes:

  • Confident; willing to propose courses of action and be creative; equally willing to take direction and to understand when something cannot be done or is not appropriate;
  • Willing to work flexibly,
  • Willingness to travel both within the UK and overseas;
  • A self-starter who is also a collaborative team player;
  • The ability to learn from others and enable them to learn from each other;


  • Willingness and ability to travel within the UK and abroad, including overnight trips.



  • Research experience in a relevant field such as: public/political theology, ethics, rural and/or urban studies, social sciences.
  • Qualifications and/or relevant experience in the physical sciences, economic and related subjects.
  • Experience of advising senior leaders on social and policy matters;
  • Specific experience of the Church of England’s social, political and ethical engagement, especially in relevant areas of social policy.
  • Writing for professional publication;


  • Skills in using IT for communication, including e.g. web design, desk-top publishing and social media;
  • Education and training skills.

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.