Assistant Director of Whalley Abbey

This job has now expired
Whalley Abbey, The Sands, Whalley, Clitheroe
£32,087 fte

Please do not apply via Pathways - to apply, please visit General vacancies | The Diocese of Blackburn (

Key Responsibilities: Working with the Director in developing Whalley Abbey to be a financially sustainable Centre for Christian Discipleship and Prayer, helping the diocese to fulfil its strategic vision and providing a place of retreat and spiritual encounter for individuals and churches across the North West. The postholder will manage the day to day operations of the Abbey and will be in charge during the absence of the Director.


  • Deputising for the Director of Whalley Abbey in their absence
  • Implementing the strategic plan
  • Overseeing buildings maintenance and repairs
  • Keeping to budget, increasing income and monitoring costs so that the Abbey becomes financially sustainable

Management of Staff

  • Managing all staff and volunteers in accordance with policies and procedures of the DBF including training, appraisals and recruitment.
  • Managing shift patterns and rotas for paid staff, community and volunteers to cover the necessary requirements for running the Abbey.
  • Communicating with all staff to ensure day to day plans and requirements are known and understood, and ensuring a clear feedback route for any staff problems
  • Developing a bank of casual staff and volunteers to draw on as needed
  • Training and developing all staff and volunteers, e.g. First Aiders
  • Ensuring that all relevant policies are understood and followed by all staff, including Fire, Hygiene, Health and Safety
  • Recruiting all paid employees according to DBF and Diocesan/CoE Safer Recruitment.
  • Recruiting a team of volunteers according to DBF and Diocesan/ CoE Safer Recruitment.
  • Ensuring that the team and day to day operations are working in line with the financial budget.
  • Line Management of all employees and volunteers
  • Creating excellent internal communications and holding regular staff and volunteers meetings

Compliance and Legal

  • Making sure that all health and safety, food handling, employment legislation and legal compliances are carried out for the Abbey.
  • Ensuring that Safeguarding procedures are followed by all employees and volunteers
  • Managing the budget and financial procedures

Operational activities

  • Working alongside the Director to develop and deliver the programme of events at the Abbey
  • Sleeping overnight at the Abbey as needed, to ensure either the Director or Assistant Director is resident onsite for emergencies whenever the Abbey has overnight guests. NB Residential accommodation for the Assistant Director and family may be available by negotiation
  • Welcoming guests to the Abbey, respond to their needs and address problems and complaints efficiently
  • Working to ensure processes and routines are continually improved and efficient
  • Working with the Governance Committee as required in accordance with governance arrangements set in place by Bishop`s Council
  • Resolving complaints from guests to ensure an excellent level of guest experience
  • Carrying out such other duties as may from time to time be reasonably required
  • Supporting the day to day operations of the Abbey and being on call for emergencies

Christian commitment


  • Respect and actively support the Christian ethos and work of the Abbey
  • An understanding of the Church of England

Qualifications and Training


  • 2 x A level or equivalent
  • 5 GCSE including maths and English
  • Certificate in Food Safety
  • Degree level education
  • First aid qualification

Experience and Skills


  • Working in a team as a member and leader
  • Understanding of expectations and needs of a Christian Retreat Centre
  • Ability to implement and maintain Health and Safety Standards
  • Ability to make sound judgements and apply them calmly, including under pressure
  • Efficient administrative ability
  • IT competencies, experienced in using a range of MS Office tools, including Word and Excel.
  • Excellent organisational and time management skills
  • Ability to achieve deadlines and prioritise a busy schedule.
  • Initiative and proactive working.
  • Ability to deal with sensitive and confidential information.
  • Ability to communicate effectively in different media with people of all backgrounds
  • Ability to work independently in handling a diverse workload and in keeping to deadlines
  • Strong verbal communications skills and ability to produce clear written records and reports

Personal qualities


  • A committed member of the Church of England or a church belonging to Churches Together in Britain and Ireland
  • Excellent communicator and a good telephone manner.
  • Excellent welcoming and hospitality skills and ability to support colleagues in delivering good hospitality.
  • Approachable and with a good sense of humour
  • A person of integrity
  • A good listener
  • A proven ability to develop and sustain relationships at all levels both inside and outside the Church;
  • An ability to work under pressure
  • Flexible work approach
  • Reasonable physical fitness sufficient to climb stairs and occasionally lift guests’ luggage or other equipment

For a full job description and person specification, please refer to the attached document.

The Diocese of Blackburn serves almost the whole of the county of Lancashire with a population of 1.6 million. The Diocese covers an area of extraordinary variety, from the stunning countryside of the Trough of Bowland to the former mill towns of East Lancashire, from the University cities of Preston and Lancaster to the seaside towns of Blackpool and Morecambe, from elegant villages to Presence and Engagement Parishes. It is divided into 14 Deaneries and two Archdeaconries (Blackburn and Lancaster). We have parishes of all traditions and are strongly committed to the principle of mutual flourishing.

Please do not apply via Pathways - to apply, please visit General vacancies | The Diocese of Blackburn (

Outline of Terms and Conditions

Employer: Blackburn Diocesan Board of Finance

Salary: £32,087 per annum

Hours: One full time or 2 x part time applicants welcomed with the Board of Finance reserving the right to make the final decision. The post holder may be required to work additional hours as to meet the reasonable requirements of the role. The post holder will be entitled to time off in lieu for attending meetings outside normal hours which may include evenings and weekends.

Location: The post-holder will be based at Whalley Abbey, The Sands, Whalley, Clitheroe, BB7, 9SS. Accommodation on site may be available by negotiation(salary). No heating, lighting, cleaning, council tax and water will be offered as part of any accommodation.

Pension: The default for staff is a Royal London Pension Scheme, 10% Employer contribution 2% minimum employee contribution. Clergy can opt into the Church of England Clergy Pension Scheme via a salary sacrifice. Details of this are available on request.

Annual leave: The full-time entitlement is 25 days (not including statutory bank holidays) in the first year of employment rising by 1 day per completed calendar year up to a maximum of 30 days per year. This is pro rata for part time employees. The holiday year runs from 1 January to 31 December.

Probationary period: The appointment is subject to the satisfactory completion of a six-month probationary period.

Notice Period: During the six-month probationary period two weeks’ notice is required on either party. Thereafter you will be required to give six months’ notice should you wish to resign.

Expenses: Working expenses are paid at the diocesan rates.

Employee Assistance Programme: is available

Right to work: The post-holder must have the right to reside and work in the UK.

Diversity - The Diocese of Blackburn believes that diversity enables us to thrive and develop and is committed to race equality, welcoming applications from UK Minority Ethnic/ Global Majority Heritage backgrounds

The Diocese of Blackburn is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults. All post holders and volunteers are expected to share this commitment.