Birmingham is the UK’s second city with the youngest urban population in Europe and one of the most lively and diverse regions. The Church of England Birmingham covers an area of nearly 300 square miles and includes parishes in the West Midlands including Birmingham and parts of Solihull, Sandwell, Warwickshire and Worcestershire.
Right at the heart of what we do there are over 187 Church of England places of worship representing a wide scope of Church tradition, with an average weekly attendance of 17,000 from a population of 1.5 million.
The Care of Churches Officer is a key role in overseeing the statutory processes covering the management, maintenance, revitalisation and development of our church buildings. The formal oversight of such works is devolved through legislation to a number of statutory bodies and this role will act as:
1) Secretary to the Diocesan Advisory Committee for the Care of Churches (DAC);
2) Secretary to Birmingham Diocesan Trust (BDT);
3) Clerk to the Diocesan Mission and Pastoral Committee (DMPC).
The role will further support and assist the Diocesan Secretary and the Director of Property in any further tasks appropriate to the role, which will include working with other key stakeholders in order to support our vision of “growing churches at the heart of each community” and supporting the transformation of our buildings.
In general terms, the Care of Churches Officer (CCO) is responsible for a number of processes relating to the management of land held by the Church of England and the buildings built upon it. Matters concerning the fabric of consecrated churches and licenced places of public worship, including their use, maintenance, development and, also closure, are a major aspect of the role. The CCO will need an understanding of the related requirements of:
• The Care of Churches and Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Measure 1991 (amended 2015) (CCEJM 1991);
• The Faculty Jurisdiction Rules 2015 (FJR 2015);
• The Inspection of Churches Measure 1955 (ICM 1955);
• The Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011 (MPM 2011);
• The Charities Act 2011 (CA 2011)
• The Parochial Church Councils (Powers) Measure 1956 (amended 2015) (PCCPM 1956); and
• The Endowments and Glebe Measure 1976 (EGM 1976).
In relation to the committee work of the DAC and the BDT, the CCO must be familiar with each body’s area of responsibility, casework requirements and operational procedures, to ensure that the business is carried out in accordance with the relevant legislation and associated codes of practice. The CCO will work with the Bishop’s appointed Chair of both bodies, and other relevant key CofEB personnel, to ensure that governance of both bodies is appropriate and to develop revised governance controls where necessary. The CCO will produce and circulate the agenda papers for each meeting, and should take the minutes for each meeting for writing up and circulation. The CCO must also be able to join site visits to churches with DAC caseworkers, to assist in advising Parochial Church Councils in the maintenance and development of their church buildings within the context of the CCEJM 1991.
The CCO will be responsible for drafting Pastoral Schemes and Orders (including Schemes for the closure of a church building) under MPM 2011 and carrying out all administrative functions in relation to the Birmingham DMPC.
In carrying out these duties, the CCO must be able to communicate effectively with CofEB colleagues, committee members, legal advisers, land agents, statutory bodies and any other interested parties, in order meet the objectives and ensure the effective operation management processes. The CCO must be able to communicate helpfully and effectively with CofEB clergy and parish representatives to provide them with appropriate advice and assistance in engaging with these processes. The CCO will also be asked to provide relevant formal training to clergy as part of their Continuing Ministerial Education.
KNOWLEDGE (including experience and qualifications)
Education, experience, or high-level demonstrable interest relevant to the role, i.e. architecture, buildings / planning, heritage or a conservation
Demonstrable experience at an appropriate level of work in a comparable workplace, e.g. local authority, planning or practice associated with the care or development of buildings.
Knowledge of the Faculty Jurisdiction and Care of Churches Measure
A demonstrable level of experience with complex administrative processes
Good level of knowledge of historic buildings and the environment
Experience of dealing with building planning casework, architects or similar
Competent using Microsoft Office and online communication to a high-level.
Experience in facilitating formal meetings with a range of stakeholder, internal and external.
Demonstrable skills in line managing and developing staff
Excellent Communication Skills – capable of relating well to a wide range of people with varying expectations with tact and diplomacy
Able to prioritise, delegate and supervise work
Ability to remain calm under pressure, to organise self, effectively prioritise and manage tasks independently
Ability to work with minimal supervision to achieve agreed objectives, including the ability to take decisions as necessary
Functions as an active and effective participant within a team
Ability to engage with and gain a thorough understanding of casework and processes
An understanding of and sympathy with the ethos of the Church of England
Someone who is keen to see the sensitive development of our buildings rather than purely preserving or protecting them.
Work related circumstances
Willingness to attend occasional evening meetings
Willingness to attend meetings on site (at a church) or training/ networking sessions in other regions
The ability to travel the breadth of the diocese which includes some locations not accessible by public transport
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Hours: Full-time at 35 hours per week
Line Management: The role reports to the Director of Property and will have reporting in to it the Historic Places of Worship Support Officer.
Pension: Membership of the Church Workers’ Pension scheme, with a 12% employer contribution
Location: Our offices are based at John Cadbury House, 190 Corporation Street, Birmingham, B4 6QD however there will also need to be travel throughout the diocese. A blend of office and home working will be available after a settling-in phase.
Paid annual leave: 25 working days per calendar year plus bank holidays and 3 discretionary days
Closing Date 11 December 2023
Interview Date: 21 December 2023
The Church of England Birmingham is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive community - a place where all can be themselves and bring their unique identity to their ministry and/or work.
We welcome applications from any individuals who feel that they meet the person specification for any post, in particular from those who are currently under-represented in or staff teams such as those from Global Majority Heritage or UK Minority Ethnic backgrounds, those with visible or invisible disabilities and those who identify as LGBTQI+.