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Secretary/Personal Assistant to the Bishop of Jarrow

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


The Diocese of Durham is one of 43 Dioceses in the Church of England. Geographically it extends from the Tees in the south to the Tyne in the north, and from upper Weardale and Teesdale to the coast.

The Bishop of Jarrow's role is to support the Bishop of Durham in the leadership of the church and thecare for the clergy and Parishes. He has a wide range of contacts in the church and community, and with local and regional government. He is Chair of the Diocesan Council for Ministry, and has oversight of the selection and training of new clergy.

The Secretary/Personal Assistanthas a vital role in providing the necessary administrative support for the Bishop, to enable him to operate efficiently.

Post Introduction

Working from an office in the Bishop's home, you will providesecretarial, personal and administrative support for the Bishop, ensuringthe smooth running of the Bishops office in a way which is compatible with its location in the Bishops home.

Key duties will include managing the Bishop's diary, dealing with incoming mail and enquiries, the preparation of documents, reports and other papersand the organisation of events and hospitalityfor visitors.

Interviews will be held on the 26th January 2018

Role Responsibility

Management of the Bishops diary including:

(a) planning appointments and meetings on a daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis

(b) arranging, and when necessary re-arranging, appointments and meetings

(c) ensuring that all necessary information about appointments and events is obtained and is available to the Bishop

(d) providing paperwork for each days meetings in the form of day-files seven days in advance

(e) making bookings and arranging travel and accommodation for the Bishop and others travelling with him.

Dealing with incoming mail and enquiries, including:

(a) opening incoming mail, receiving e-mails (to the extent required) and answering the telephone on behalf of the Bishop; and assisting by suggesting priorities, providing information and attaching relevant paperwork

(b) dealing with matters and making appropriate replies to the extent authorised by the Bishop

(c) in the absence of the Bishop, making interim replies, referring enquiries elsewhere and seeking advice as needed

(d) monitoring progress on mail and enquiries, and bringing forward matters for the Bishops attention when necessary.

Preparation of documents, reports and other papers including:

(a) preparingcorrespondence and papers from handwritten drafts, and from audio or shorthand dictation, and adaptatingto presentation standard of documents drafted by others

(b) drafting and maintaining databases, spreadsheets and written records

(c) preparing agendas and documents for groups or committees as required by the Bishop

(d) attendingmeetings and preparingminutes or action notes under the guidance of the Bishop

(e) preparing draft letters and documents under the guidance of the Bishop

(f) researching and gathering information as required.

Management of administrative systems in the office, including:

(a) developing and operating administrative systems and procedures

(b) setting up and maintaining filing systems and records, ensuring security and confidentiality of records

(c) keeping records of expenses and any other financial matters as required, including liaison with the Church Commissioners and Diocesan office staff

(d) arranging maintenance and repair of office equipment and provision of office supplies.

Acting as receptionist for the Bishops office.

Organisingofficial eventsand arranginghospitality for visitors.

The Ideal Candidate

Experience & knowledge requirements:

  • Proven ability to do office or clerical work
  • Secretarial experience (desirable)
  • Ability to prepare letters, reports and minutes, or similar documents from written and audio dictation
  • Knowledge of office software including word processing and presentation programs (spreadsheets, databases and desktop publishing also desirable)
  • Ability to deal with external callers, for example customers, complainants and volunteers
  • Ability to organise meetings and diary planning
  • Knowledge of structure and working of the Church of England (desirable)

Skills and abilities:

  • Ability to work on own initiative with minimal supervision
  • Good communication skills, both written and oral
  • Discretion to undertake work and deal with enquiries of a sensitive and confidential nature
  • High levels of accuracy and attention to detail
  • Good organising and planning skills, able to prioritise and deal with competing demands, working calmly under pressure and to deadlines
  • Ability to prepare documents to a high standard of presentation
  • Ability to maintain records and provide accurate information

Qualifications and training:

  • Secretarial or administrative qualification (desirable)
  • Typing or word processing qualification (desirable)
  • Qualification in English language; minimum NVQ/NQF level 2 (GCSE A-C grade)
  • Appropriate day-course training in Health and Safety (may be provided after appointment)
  • Training and qualification in office computer software (desirable)


  • Flexible approach to working hours when needed as a result of work demands or events
  • In sympathy with the ethos and objectives of the Church of England

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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