The Church Buildings Support Officer will offer specialist front-line assistance to a focused group of local churches, in the care of building fabric and the advancement of the use of buildings in community engagement and diversification of purpose. Working collaboratively with other team members the post holder will (i) share professional skills by offering direct support and advice on building fabric matters, (ii) support grant resource distribution (minor repairs & improvements grant funds), (iii) aid in identifying additional funds and resources, and (iv) support community capacity building.
This, with the overall objective of helping to keep churches open as sustainable, long-term assets in, and for, their local communities. The outcome will be local church buildings and communities becoming stronger and more resilient, enabling them to be in a better position to sustain front-line mission and ministry from long-term viable church buildings. Throughout all aspects of the role the post holder will be attentive to widely sharing best practice and building supportive relationship networks to ensure greater strength and cohesion.
As well as those who support wider mission & ministry, the post holder will work alongside colleagues operating the statutory work of the Diocesan Advisory Committee for the Care of Churches and be part of a broader national network of Church Buildings Support Officers.
DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES:
· Develop strategic approaches for the long-term care and best practice management of churches.
· Maintain awareness of local needs and external factors, identifying opportunities in the priorities of partner organisations and the local community which are complementary to those of the church, acting as an advocate for church buildings both within and outside the diocese.
· Working with the Cathedral and Church Buildings Division (CCB) Training and Support Officer, provide information on conservation and historic environment management, signposting to relevant colleagues, organisations, published guidance and training opportunities as appropriate.
· Develop and deliver ’Buildings for Mission’ training for the Wardens Network and for modules within the IME programme.
· Work with and signpost to DAC and other colleagues on consent procedures and legal requirements where applicable.
· Working with the diocesan Accessibility Adviser (or equivalent), promote the importance of equal access to churches, providing initial guidance on appropriate measures and adaptations.
· Ensure that all advice given, and actions taken are consistent with environmental and Net Zero Carbon targets, making best use of current initiatives and funding opportunities.
Building – reviewing, monitoring and planning
· Lead on the diocese’s strategic buildings review, and in concert with Archdeacons, prepare and update an Action Plan to prioritise support and intervention in particular areas of demonstrable need.
· Work closely with the DAC Secretary in maintaining an overview of the condition of churches in the diocese, reviewing QI reports, liaising with inspecting architects/surveyors and making site visits and assessments as appropriate, to prioritise cases for particular support and intervention.
Building - maintenance, repair and sustainability
· Encourage long term financial planning for maintenance and repair and build an awareness of local building and maintenance contractors with skills and experience of working on church buildings.
· Provide guidance to churches on fundraising, in particular to identify potential funding sources for repair, maintenance and development projects, advising on applications and supporting project development.
· Provide guidance to incumbents, churchwardens and PCCs on making regular inspections, planning for maintenance and implementing maintenance tasks, whether by volunteer action or by commissioned work as appropriate to the nature of the task.
· Working with the CCB Training and Support Officer, provide training and guidance for incumbents, churchwardens, PCCs and volunteers on fabric matters.
· Work with individual churches and inspecting architects/surveyors to prioritise repair projects and advise on planning, procurement and implementation. Advise on project management.
A degree or professional qualification in subjects relevant to history or the built environment, or equivalent experience.
Working with historic buildings and the legislation affecting them, whether ecclesiastical or secular.
Understanding of care and maintenance issues relating to historic buildings.
Knowledge of various stakeholders in the heritage sector and the Church of England.
Experience of development of strategy.
Experience of development and delivery of training.
Experience of drawing up and monitoring project programmes/KPIs.
Experience of fundraising and grant applications.
Experience of reporting and preparing papers for committees or strategic groups.
To apply for this position please follow the link below and complete an application form from the website