Assistant Church Buildings Officer

This job has now expired
WORCESTER
Agency Worker
£15,683

The post holder will support the Church Buildings Officer in continuing to offer direct support to church communities in caring for their church building, planning repair and/or development projects and protecting national heritage assets (nearly 20% of our churches are Grade I listed; over 15% of our churches appear on the Historic England ‘At Risk Register’).

Applications for this role must be made on our own application form (see below or visit www.cofe-worcester.org.uk/vacancies) and NOT on the Pathways form.

To support church communities to understand, maintain and make best use of church buildings, churchyards and other buildings in their care.

Working in support of the Church Buildings Officer you will

  • Enable congregations and clergy to recognise the value of the church building as the key operating premises for the mission of the church in the locality, including activities beyond their primary role as a place of worship.
  • Enable congregations and clergy to recognise the value of the church building as a significant heritage asset and to encourage sustainable maintenance, management and development of these.
  • Assist in the development of Statements of Significance and Statement of Need for church works.
  • Develop strategic approaches for the improved conservation, monitoring and maintenance of historic places of worship – with the aim of preventing them from becoming ‘at risk’ and removing those already on the Heritage at Risk register.
  • Liaise with Historic England’s Heritage At Risk team, as required, to ensure a considered and proactive approach to the churches most at risk and to develop and implement proposals with PCCs that would see their buildings removal from the HAR register.
  • Help church communities identify and access funding sources for repairs; assist in developing robust fundraising strategies, organise and manage major repair projects including liaison with professional advisors.
  • Ensure that maintenance and development works to church buildings are permitted within the parameters of the Faculty Jurisdiction rules.
  • As required, deputise for the Church Buildings Officer in offering advice on Faculty matters and undertaking formal casework on applications.
  • As required, deputise for the Church Buildings Officer in the management of closed and closing church buildings in the care of the Diocesan Board of Finance.
  • As required, offer assistance and training to church communities in the benefits of regular preventative maintenance programmes for buildings, to keep buildings fit for mission.
  • As required, review Quinquennial Inspection reports for church buildings and produce a briefing note on each to the relevant Archdeacon.

Generally

  • Support the Church Buildings Team and wider team to promote the care of church buildings within the context of section 8 of the Diocesan Kingdom People vision.
  • Be generally self-supporting in terms of day-to-day administration needs, events and diary management.
  • Comply with health & safety legislation.
  • Maintain and build relevant data structures across the team to support effective working.
  • Keep in contact with relevant developments nationally, in other dioceses, and with statutory consultees and ensure that parishes are aware of these developments.
  • Develop personal and professional skills through training, being familiar with current developments in the conservation of church buildings as places of mission and ministry as well as for wider community use.
  • Undertake other duties as required to fulfil the main purpose of the job.

It is essential that the person appointed will:

  • be empathetic and committed to the role of church buildings as local centres of Christian worship and mission in the context of the diocesan Kingdom People vision;
  • have an empathy for the care and conservation of church buildings: see conservation as the management of change;
  • have a relevant degree or professional qualification or proven practical experience in the management, development and conservation of the historic environment;
  • appreciate the context and role of people working in a voluntary capacity in parishes and on the DAC and DCCC;
  • have a working knowledge of, or be capable of assimilating readily, the legislation relating to church buildings and the faculty processes;
  • have knowledge and experience of the role of externally-obtained funding (preferably within the life of the church and churches) and experience in applying for and utilising this funding;
  • be able to work independently in handling a diverse workload and in keeping to deadlines;
  • enjoy working with others as part of a team;
  • have good communication and presentational skills, both oral and written;
  • be capable of giving clear and consistent advice;
  • be a perceptive listener, able to discern and to help people solve problems;
  • be able to balance conflicting or differing needs and perspectives, happy to challenge and critique whilst inspiring and encouraging;
  • be able to use up to date IT hardware /software including word processing, database, e-mail and the internet and have a positive attitude and aptitude to using new hardware /software;be able to travel regularly, widely and flexibly in both the rural and the urban parts of the diocese. A current driving license is essential unless suitable alternative arrangements can be made;
  • be willing to work outside normal office hours, as some work in the evenings and at weekends will be core to the effectiveness of the role;have a satisfactory outcome of a Basic Disclosure & Barring Service check.

It is desirable that you have a working knowledge of:

  • the structures of the Church of England;
  • the legislation relating to church buildings and the faculty processes.

The Diocese of Worcester has 279 churches in 195 parishes, mostly within the ceremonial county of Worcestershire and the borough of Dudley. The diocese has examples of churches from all ages and architectural styles but many struggle to provide the facilities required to be fit for purpose as a spiritual and community resource. The diocesan vision, Kingdom People, holds purposeful and sustainable buildings as one of its key characteristics for the mission of diocesan churches to the people in our communities.