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Personal Assistant to the Bishop of Dover (03)

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. This role undertakes all administrative 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 temporary, part time post, we also have :

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

1 x Part Time (17.5 hours) - Reference  cofe/TP/51/480

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

Provide a consistent, high quality and reliable personal secretarial support service to the Bishop of Dover acting upon requests promptly and efficiently to assist the Bishop to fulfil his interim episcopal responsibilities

  • In conjunction with the Bishop and the Personal Assistants to the Dean and Vice Deans of Jersey and Guernsey, plan the Bishop`s  diary for visits to the Channel Islands including organising the programme, ensuring papers and documents are available as required, travel arrangements, plans and tickets  are organised efficiently
  • To maintain an appropriate system to ensure that all Disclosure and Barring Checks (DBS) are in date and renewed as per Canterbury Diocesan policy
  • In conjunction with the Canterbury Safeguarding Officers, ensure all clergy in the Channel Islands receive appropriate safeguarding training and document accordingly
  • Undertake the administration associated with the Channel Island`s  new clergy appointments process from shortlisting, interviewing, offer and licensing so that the process is managed efficiently and in liaison  with the Registry
  • Manage all filing systems and databases relevant to the Channel Island`s including,  Clergy Blue files, DBS, Diocesan Director of Ordinands (DDO) and clergy with Permission To Officiate (PTO).
  • Support the administration of the Initial Ministerial Education (IME) programmes in conjunction with The Canterbury Diocesan Director of IME
  • Acting as first point of contact for the Bishop of Dover, helping to maintain  and develop  good working relationships with the Dean of Jersey and Dean of Guernsey with a high degree of sensitivity and confidentiality 

The Ideal Candidate

Experience required

  • Significant understanding of secretarial and organisational policies and procedures acquired through training and relevant experience
  • Awareness and ability to be sensitive to the different terms of service, legislation ( patronage etc)  of  Jersey and Guernsey

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 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
  • Investigating a range of issues and proposing solutions
  • Team working and the ability to cooperate, negotiate and influence others
  • Touch typing and short hand
  • Transcribe from dictation
  • Ability to work cooperatively with others

Aptitudes & personal qualities required

  • Ability to exchange confidential information with sensitivity
  • Initiative
  • Proactive, can do attitude
  • Exercises judgement when dealing with enquiries
  • 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 is essential

Qualifications/Education required

  • Secretarial /PA qualification
  • Significant knowledge of office procedures and systems


  • 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 work may be 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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