The Cathedral and Church Buildings Division– ChurchCare– led by the Bishop of Worcester, celebrates and supports the maintenance and sustainable development of the Church of England’s 42 cathedrals and 16,000 church buildings. Through advice, campaigning and fundraising, it provides strategic support to those responsible for church buildings at a local level.
The postholder is lead caseworker in the Church Buildings Team for casework referred for advice to the Church Buildings Council. The officer will be responsible for the triage and allocation of casework, site visits, production of reports summarising the history and significance of church buildings and assessing the impact of proposed changes. Following the advice of The Council they will return recommendations and offer advice. The post holder will also provide advice on a delegated basis when appropriate. The post holder will be the primary point of contact with DACs on matters related to casework.
The post holder will provide general guidance and advice at diocesan and local level and will also engage with social media for the Division and develop website content. As part of the ChurchCare team they will also work on projects to raise design standards, training and campaigning.
The Postholder will be expected to:
Take the lead in managing casework:
- Work with DAC secretaries and architects to ensure the referral process supports parishes in developing their worship and mission
- Handle all direct referrals received by the team and referrals received via divisional email addresses
- Decide which cases should be considered by the Council
- Schedule, and take the lead in chairing, casework meetings
- Liaise with Office Manager to ensure efficient arrangement of site visits
Provide consistent, practical and timely advice:
- Prepare reports on the archaeological, art historical, ecological and architectural value of churches and assess the impact of proposed changes on the significance on the building, taking into account the role of the church as a centre of worship and mission.
- Provide written advice, following the advice of the Council where appropriate, in response to proposals for church buildings.
- Make recommendations and suggestions, following the advice of the Council where appropriate, about wider use of the building in addition to worship.
- Provide advice on a delegated basis when appropriate
Promote the development of church buildings
- Use the ChurchCare website and social media to promote the work of the Division.
- Speak in public on behalf of the division at training events and conferences.
Support policy and campaigning initiatives
- Identify issues of general concern and participate in ongoing initiatives such as education and the strategic development of church buildings.
- Keep up to date with the strategic work of the Division and the wider church heritage sector, to inform responses to casework.
Assist the director:
- Undertake such duties as the Head of Division considers appropriate
Please see attached job description for full main responsibilities
The ideal candidates must have;
- Able to take responsibility for their work, and guide members of the Church Buildings Team in their casework responsibilities
- An ability to think clearly about administrative procedures and how to implement them in a straightforward way, without losing sight of the values which the procedures are there to serve.
- An ability to write accurately, and speak clearly and to the point to persuade a wide range of audiences, including writing for the web and the use of social media.
- An able public speaker who will be an effective ambassador for the work of the Council
- Proven experience in casework on church or other historic buildings
- Sympathetic understanding of the purposes of church buildings as centres of Christian worship and mission.
- Knowledge/experience of the use of church buildings and understanding of their architectural and archaeological development.
- Knowledge/experience of the broad fields of conservation or heritage management in England including planning legislation and the operation of the systems.
- A good team member, able to communicate and work creatively with colleagues.
- A client forward approach to all who seek our advice from Bishops and Government Ministers to parish church representatives.
- Flexibility and adaptability in the face of changing requirements.
- A self-starter who has initiated new ventures (in any field of activity)
- The normal place of work is Church House, Westminster. In addition, the post-holder will be required to travel regularly (by public transport or by car and so have their own driving licence) to church buildings and conference venues around the country, with some overnight stays as necessary – appropriate travel and accommodation expenses will be paid.
- A relevant degree or professional qualification ideally in the history of art and architecture, archaeology, or the conservation of historic buildings, in heritage management, or in some other directly relevant subject.
- Qualifications or equivalent in both
(i) history of art/architecture or archaeology and also
(ii) conservation or heritage management would be advantageous.
- Knowledge/experience of the challenges experienced by the Church of England in maintaining its historic buildings in change and often difficult circumstances.
- Previous experience in an organisation concerned with the conservation of historic buildings and their planned development.
Please see attached job description for full ideal candidate requirements
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