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Personal Assistant to the Bishop of Dover (02)

Please Note: The application deadline for this post has now passed.


The Bishop of Dover, the Right Reverend Trevor Willmott oversees the day to day running of the Diocese of Canterbury on behalf of the Archbishop of Canterbury.  He works closely with a senior team of 3 Archdeacons, the Dean of the Cathedral and the Diocesan Secretary.

The Bishop is a member of General Synod and the Standing Committee of the House of Bishops and is part of a group of Bishops taking forward a national strategic project Reform and Renewal.

The Bishop of Dover is the :

  • Sponsoring Bishop of the Diocese and works closely with the Director of Ordinands.
  • Visitor to Dover College and Chair of the Nominations Committee and regularly takes part in Council meetings.
  • Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor at Canterbury Christchurch University and regularly attends meetings of the Governing Body Meetings and presides at graduations twice a year.

The Bishop has had episcopal oversight of the Channel Islands since 2013. The PA to the Bishop of Dover (Channel Islands) undertakes all matters relating to the Channel Islands.

The Personal Assistants supporting the Bishop will be based in the Bishops Office, located in a wing of The Old Palace within the Canterbury Cathedral Precincts. 

The Archbishop`s residence whilst in Canterbury is The Old Palace.

Post Introduction

Personal Assistants to the Bishop of Dover

Following retirements in the Bishop`s Office team, we have opportunities for Personal Assistants.  In addition to this part time post, we also have :

1 x Full Time (35 hours) - Reference cofe/TP/51/476

1 x Temporary Part Time (17.5 hours) - Reference  cofe/TP/485

As Personal Assistant to the Bishop of Dover, you will provide an efficient and reliable personal secretarial support service.These posts will suit those who have significant secretarial and office experience, an ability to manage a number of complex administrative processes and a demanding diary.  You will have excellent communication skills with a natural flair for organisation (of events and workload) and subscribe to our Christian vision and values.

So if you thrive on delivering an exceptional secretarial service with a hospitable welcome and a confident, positive and methodical approach to work, then we would love to hear from you.

Please indicate on your application form the reference number for the post/s you would like to be considered for.  Whilst under separate contracts it is possible that the 2 part time posts can be undertaken by the same person.

For further information, please visit our website https://www.canterburydiocese.org/vacancies/

Interviews will be held on the 16th and 17th April 2018

Role Responsibility

In conjunction with the colleague PA:

  • To contribute towards the smooth running of the Bishops office so that the Bishop can fulfil all the varied responsibilities effectively. 
  • To undertake the full range of secretarial duties, to include; responding and dealing efficiently with all forms of communication directed to the office (post/emails/telephone calls) and visitors, liaising with the Bishop and Chaplain as appropriate
  • To manage the Bishop`s diary and all matters relating to the Bishop`s commitments including arranging meetings and preparing associated papers referring to the PA for the Bishop of Dover for the Channel Islands and the Chaplain when required
  • To communicate complex and sensitive information with a range of Diocesan staff and liaising with external organisations so that processes are co-ordinated and completed effectively and promptly
  • To coordinate a range of complex administrative processes including;
  • the clergy appointment process in liaison with the PAs to the Archdeacons and Registry
  • the coordination of the Ministerial Development Review paperwork in liaison with the Ministry Development Officer and Administrator
  • the preparation of C4 faculty, Title Offers and ordination arrangements in liaison with the Director of Ordinands and Chaplain
  • To ensure that all administrative processes are carried out and completed in  line with the relevant and up to date Measures and other guidance and Regulations
  • To maintain databases, electronic and paper filing systems; including the Clergy Blue Files to ensure that data held is processed and managed in line with Data Protection and the House of Bishop`s guidance
  • To process expenses for the Bishop’s Working costs and Discretionary Funds in accordance with Church Commissioner requirements
  • To organise the Episcopal staff team meetings  in conjunction with the Chaplain so that the meeting runs smoothly taking accurate minutes
  • Plan and organise a range of meetings and events including catering and hospitality so that there is a hospitable welcome to all that visit the Bishop at the Old Palace and his home (Upway)
  • Point of reference for the cleaners and other contractors of the Bishop`s Office and the Archbishop`s residence, in liaison with the Cathedral Lodge and other appropriate facilities management services
  • To undertake as required associated administrative duties for the Archbishop (when in residence in Canterbury) to assist him in the fulfilment of his responsibilities when in the Diocese
  • To liaise with the Diocesan Facilities Management Team to ensure contractors fulfil their duties in relation to office and domestic management of the Old Palace

The Ideal Candidate

Experience required

  • Significant understanding of secretarial and organisational policies and procedures acquired through training and in-depth relevant experience
  • Significant knowledge of office procedures and systems

Skills required

  • Well organised
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to relate professionally and helpfully to all those people who come into contact with the Bishops office
  • Ability to deal with a range of people
  • Flexible to change and responsive to deal with a range of non-routine and unforeseen scenarios some of which will be complex
  • Accurate with great attention to detail
  • Ability to investigate a range of issues, proposing solutions and making judgements
  • Ability to be comfortable working on your own or as part of a team 
  • Ability to touch type and use short hand
  • Ability to transcribe from dictation
  • Ability to cooperate, negotiate and influence others

Aptitudes & personal qualities required

  • Ability to exchange confidential information with sensitivity
  • Ability to use initiative
  • Demonstrate a proactive, can do attitude
  • Ability to exercise judgement when dealing with enquiries
  • A commitment to the mission of the Church of England and ability to subscribe to the ethos and values of the diocese
  • Understanding and knowledge of the structures of the Church of England

Qualifications/Education required

  • Secretarial /PA qualification (or equivalent)


  • The office is within the Old Palace which includes the Canterbury home of the Archbishop, and so flexibility is required to ensure that there are good working relationships with all those involved, including the Cathedral
  • Occasional weekend and evening working required

About Us

We in the National Church Institutions support the mission and ministries of the Church all over England. We work with parishes, dioceses (regional offices), schools, other ministries and our partners at a national and international level.

Excellence, Respect, Integrity

We follow these three values in everything we do, whether we are of Christian faith, another faith or no faith.

Benefits- We offer a competitive salary package, a flexible* 35-hour working week for work-life balance and a minimum 25 days holiday plus 3 defined organisational days leave and an attractive defined pension scheme.

We are committed to building a culturally diverse workforce and strongly encourage applications from underrepresented groups. We are committed to equality of opportunity and welcome applications from people, regardless of their background.

*Where applicable depending on post requirements.

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