The Adult Learning Department runs public events at St Paul’s Cathedral exploring the challenges, joys and contradictions of being a Christian in the 21st century. The programme’s remit is Christian formation for laypeople, and events focus on prayer, spirituality, theology, doctrine, arts, creativity and ethics. The department is line-managed by the Registrar and the Chapter member with oversight of the area is the Chancellor.
The department was established in 2009 and presently consists of two members of staff: the Head of the Department, who is responsible for researching and directing the programme, and the Adult Learning Programme Manager who manages the events and audience.
The Department currently runs about 30 events per year: 10 Sunday lunchtime author talks; 10 Saturday events including study afternoons, workshops and reflective days; and about six evening events in the cathedral with major speakers and large audiences; and other events as the opportunities arise. Approximately half the events are free, some of them with free registration, and about half have an admission fee for participants.
In 2017, approximately 6,000 people attended events and the films of free events were watched approximately 200,000 times. Both the programme and the audience for the programme continue to develop and grow.
The Senior Content Manager is a new role within the department and will be responsible for researching and originating the individual events and programme as a whole. This will allow the department to expand its work into new areas to become a resource for London Diocese and the church in general, while maintaining and expanding its current events programme.
Originate and organise the programme
The Senior Content Manager will work under the direction of the Head of Adult Learning to:
Research speakers, subjects and events about Christian learning, prayer, spirituality, theology, doctrine, arts, creativity and ethics.
Organise a balanced and broad programme of events, including diverse subjects, speakers and theological approaches, a balance of free and charged events, and with the aim of attracting diverse and new audiences, while retaining existing audiences.
The aim of the events is to attract, surprise, stretch and challenge the people attending them, with the aim of expanding their understanding and deepening their Christian faith.
The programme should contribute to the Cathedral’s goals of diversity and engagement with London.
Programme the events
Under the supervision of the Head of Department, to organise the programme and events. Events will include:
A range of free evening events throughout the year in the cathedral itself, which will attract audiences of 500-2000 people, and include major theologians and Christian speakers. These normally number five or six a year.
The Sunday Forum programme, which consists of ten free events annually on the first Sunday of the month excluding January and August, ensuring a diversity of subjects and speakers. The talks take place from 1-2pm in the Wren Suite in St Paul’s Cathedral crypt which holds about 75 people. The speakers are often, though not always, by the authors of recent books.
A programme of (about) ten Saturday workshops and study afternoons annually in the Wren Suite.
A number of reflective, retreat days in the course of the year, and when appropriate one longer retreat per year, which might be residential or not.
Advent, Lent or other courses periodically and as appropriate, but not necessarily annually.
Other events as opportunities arise and departmental capacity allows.
Across all areas of the programme, to ensure a balance of subject matters and speakers, which will include Bible, prayer, doctrine, ethics, theology, Christian spirituality, Christianity and the arts, and science and faith.
To ensure that within any programme of events the speakers should include an equal balance of genders, as well as different ethnicities, denominations, theologies and both lay and ordained speakers.
Most of these events are held at St Paul’s Cathedral but some will be at other venues for practical and other reasons.
To liaise with other departments about collaborative events within the cathedral, especially the Liturgy and Music Departments, St Paul’s Institute, the Collections Department, and Visits.
To write attractive, effective and concise marketing copy for the programme promotional material.
To maintain relationships with publishers and collaborate with them when appropriate.
To maintain relationships with the Diocese of London, St Mellitus College, the London Centre for Spiritual Direction, Westminster Abbey and other Christian organisations and learning providers, and to network across the sector.
To attend and run all the events except Sunday Forum events, which are managed on the day by the Adult Learning Programme Manager.
To attend and run the cathedral floor evening events with other members of the department, currently approximately six per year.
To attend and manage all the Saturday events as the sole departmental member of staff on duty, including introducing the speaker and chairing questions when appropriate, ensuring catering needs are in place, registering the audience members and dealing with their enquiries and needs as they arise.
Periodically to chair Sunday Forum, and to be flexible about covering Sunday Forum in case of need.
To provide cover in times of staff absence or where additional support is needed at events.
Developing the Programme
The department is small and currently at capacity with the current level of programming. However, the audience and interest is growing, including in diversity though there is much more to be achieved in this area. Areas for growth include:
Seeking and implementing ways to increase in the number of events within the current pattern of programming.
Researching and programming in order specifically to attract new diverse audiences, with a focus in particular on reaching young and diverse Londoners.
Education, Knowledge and Experience
An excellent command of English, both written and oral, ideally educated to degree level or equivalent.
Substantial knowledge and understanding of Christian theology, spirituality, doctrine and ethics. This might be through a degree or other study and learning, in addition to personal practice and experience.
A successful track-record of organising public events, ideally adult learning events in a not-for-profit or arts environment, both on a large-scale and smaller workshops and courses.
Experience of dealing successfully with people at all levels and professional relationship building, and networking across the sector.
Experience of dealing with a wide variety of members of the public.
This is a position which bears responsibility for a key part of the Christian mission of St Paul’s Cathedral. The person will develop and organise the programme and events with the goal of deepening the participants’ Christian faith, prayer, spiritual life and development. The post therefore has a genuine occupational requirement for a person of Christian faith.
A successful track-record in marketing events, communications and audience-generating.
Experience of dealing with a complex organisation with multiple needs and roles.
Required skills and personal qualities
Outgoing, self-motivated and enthusiastic with a collaborative proactive approach to work, and with an understanding of professional boundaries.
A practical, hands-on approach to the job and the events. The department is small and the Senior Content Manager must have the capacity and willingness to manage running events single-handedly as well as organising the programme at a high level. This will include practical organisation, including managing registrations, room layout and catering, and the capacity to problem-solve alone and on the run.
Strong communication and interpersonal skills.
Relationship-building and networking: ability to work well with other departments, outside organisations and speakers.
Excellent organisational skills and attention to detail.
Demonstrable time-management skills and the ability to work under pressure to ensure the efficient running of the annual programme and individual events. Running the programme involves organising multiple tasks, processes, speakers and constituencies simultaneously to meet hard deadlines.