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 will take a lead on triage and respond to object conservation casework referred to the Council as well as participating in the wider church buildings casework in the Church Buildings Team. The officer will take overall responsibility for conservation proposals referred for advice on conservation of church historic interiors. This includes sculpture, monuments (both internal and in churchyards), stained glass, paintings, wall paintings, furnishings, turret clocks.They will undertake site visits, produce reports summarising the history and significance of church historic interiors, assessing the appropriateness of conservation proposals. For wider church buildings casework they will assess 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 conservation 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 and update its online presence. As part of the ChurchCare team they will also work on projects to raise conservation standards, training and campaigning.
The main responsibilities for this role are;
Take the lead in managing casework:
Work with DAC secretaries and architects to ensure the referral process supports parishes in conservation of their historic furnishings and architects
Handle all conservation referrals received by the team and referrals received via divisional email addresses
Liaise with the Council’s 6 conservation committees (Bells, Clocks, Organs, Paintings & Wall Paintings, Sculpture & Furnishings, Stained Glass) to obtain appropriate and timely advice on conservation cases
Decide which cases should be considered by the Council
Support the running of the Conservation Committees:
At the direction of the Head of Conservation, provide the Grants Administrator with support in processing applications and preparing papers for the Council’s conservation committees’ grants meetings.
Provide consistent, practical and timely advice:
Prepare reports on the appropriateness of object conservation proposals, taking into account the role of the church as a centre of worship and mission.
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
Make recommendations and suggestions, following the advice of the Council where appropriate, about wider use and engagement with historic furnishings in church buildings.
Promote the development of church buildings
Use the 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
To identify issues of general concern and participate in ongoing initiatives such as education and the strategic development of church buildings.
Assist the Director:
Undertake such duties as the Director considers appropriate.
Please see job description for full main responsibilities
The ideal candidate requirements for this role are;
Able to take responsibility for their work, and work with 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 succinctly and 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.
Proven experience and understanding of conservation of historic artefacts and objects in a church environment, or similar
Sympathetic understanding of the purposes of church buildings and their historic interiors as centres of Christian worship and mission.
Knowledge/experience of the use of church buildings and their historic interiors and understanding of their architectural and archaeological development.
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.
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 in object conservation or in some other directly relevant subject, or the equivalent experience.
Qualifications or equivalent in both (i) conservation or (ii) history of art/architecture or archaeology would be advantageous.
Relevant professional accreditation, e.g. PACR.
Knowledge of history of art/ architecture or archaeology and its relation to church buildings and their historic interiors.
Knowledge/experience of the challenges experienced by the Church of England in maintaining its historic buildings in change and often difficult circumstances.
Proven experience in casework on church or other historic buildings
Previous experience in an organisation concerned with the conservation of historic buildings and their planned development.
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