The Church of England’s (CofE) Diocese of Birmingham was founded in 1905. It covers an area of nearly 300 square miles in the West Midlands, including all of the City of Birmingham and parts of Solihull, Sandwell, Dudley, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Staffordshire.
Birmingham is the UK’s second largest city, with the youngest urban population, in one of the most lively and diverse regions of the country. Right at the heart of what we do are 182 places of worship with an average weekly attendance of 17,000, from a population of 1.5 million. In these churches are clergy and worshipers representing a broad range of cultures and Christian traditions.
The fabric condition of the 166 church buildings in the diocese (17 of which are listed at Grade 1, 31 at Grade 2* and 49 at Grade 2) was assessed in both 2012 and 2017 through a survey of their latest building inspection reports. In 2012, 74% of churches had an overall condition of ‘Good’ or ‘Fair’, while 17% were in a ‘Poor’ or ‘Very Bad’ state. By 2017, the number of buildings in ‘Good’ or ‘Fair’ condition had reduced to 68%, while the buildings that were ‘Poor’ or ‘Very Bad’ had increased to 30%. At the time of the 2017 assessment, the total estimated cost of repairs needed to all 168 church buildings was over £28million.
At the start of 2017, the diocese was offered a substantial grant by the Church Commissioners to support a new phase of its major mission initiative, known as Transforming Church. In this next phase of Transforming Church, the diocese aims to build on the vital work done since 2009 so that the good news of Jesus Christ can take root at a deeper level and that the gifts of more people, both ordained and lay, can be released. One of the key strands of Transforming Church involves promoting a Church which is visible, accessible and welcoming. As our church buildings are such important, visual symbols of the presence of the Church of England, and much of its spiritual life and social engagement happens in and around them, there is now a great opportunity to develop them further as modern places of worship and community, while also addressing their significant repair needs and improving engagement with them as part of the wider, historic, built environment.
The key objectives of the Parish Building Surveyor role are to support Parochial Church Councils (PCCs) in:
Discharging their maintenance and statutory compliance responsibilities relating to their church buildings, including their responsibilities as custodians of listed churches;
Improving and developing their church buildings and facilities to be fit for purpose for the needs of their ministry and mission; and
Implementing various programmes of planned, cyclical and legislative maintenance to their church buildings.
The role-holder must have a strong blend of professional and administrative qualities, particularly the ability to work constructively with a wide range of stakeholders, including clergy, consultants, contractors, churchwardens, other volunteers and statutory bodies. Particular emphasis is placed upon the role-holder operating efficient and effective financial management and forecasting in supporting PCCs in producing and delivering planned preventative maintenance plans for their church and ancillary buildings.
The day-to-day responsibilities of the Parish Building Surveyor will be to:
Organise Church property reactive repairs and maintenance on behalf of PCCs, which will involve managing a wide range of suppliers and building contractors. Handle e-mails, phone calls and other general queries related to the Church property maintenance. Ensure that the works remains within the agreed scope and approved funding and should the scope change and/or costs change significantly obtain approval from the respective PCC;
Implement various programmes of planned, cyclical and legislative maintenance for churches based upon their five-yearly inspection quinquennial inspection report, condition surveys of ancillary building and relevant statutory compliance responsibilities for all operational buildings;
Support PCC’s with planning and co-ordinating all technical inspection and statutory testing relevant to their church buildings and any ancillary operational buildings on the church site, such as church halls, in conjunction with internal staff and external specialist consultants, ensuring an effective survey process, accurate recording and accessible sorting of data;
Analyse records of reactive, routine and statutory maintenance to identify patterns of emerging liability on building fabric assets, and to suggest where resources should be used to discharge high priority defects.
Formulate forward maintenance plans based upon analysis of maintenance lability of the built fabric on the church site with due consideration of the availability of local budgets and resources;
Manage external consultants and contractors to achieve planned outputs for programmes of routine and legislative maintenance work, and for term contracts and single capital projects, including:
developing appropriate risk registers and control measures required;
liaising with the CofE Property Team, the Diocesan Advisory Committee for the Care of Churches and statutory approval bodies, as appropriate;
selecting procurement methods;
monitoring the performance of projects against specific performance indicators and operating mechanisms for ensuring adherence to technical procedures and working practices; and
analysing performance issues with a view to recommending improvements to ensure cost effectiveness, quality, speed, and safety in future project delivery;
For any maintenance works obtain the necessary statutory consents including consent for works that fall within the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules 2015 (FJR 2015).
Ensure that contractors comply with standards for health and safety management on all projects, establishing clear working practices consistent with the CofE Birmingham Property Team, monitoring for adherence at critical junctures throughout a contract, reviewing on completion and affecting improvement in future practices through informed comments from contractors, end users and external consultants.
Monitor the performance of external contractors and consultants;
Maintain a project database for maintenance contractors (including large, one-off projects) with the continued monitoring against programme, cost plans, quality and safety standards consultant with the Property Team;
Analyse cost and performance data to produce management reports and, through executing benchmarking initiatives and liaison with external organisations, create a system of continuous improvement in current maintenance activities; and
Undertake periodic reviews of service delivery, or attend to direct complaints of procedural failure, and implement with a consistent approach the improvement to operational structure and processes as identified as necessary and representing value for money.
The Health & Safety at Work Act (1974) places responsibilities for Health and Safety on all employees. Therefore it is the postholder’s responsibility to take reasonable care for the Health, Safety and Welfare of themselves and others in accordance with Legislation and the Company policy on Health & Safety.
The Parish Building Surveyor may also be responsible for managing and supervising staff, including overseeing volunteers or paid support officers that will be assigned specific initiatives and projects within their deanery. Managing and supervising staff will include the following aspects:
Informing and appraising all staff of their duties, responsibilities, expected codes of conduct and technical procedures relevant to the Church of England;
Providing clear and effective channels of communication in respect of technical and personal issues;
Supporting the development of direct reports in accordance with the Birmingham Diocesan Board of Finance’s development appraisal process;
Encouraging Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and the preparation of specific training plan;
Ensuring safe working practises are adopted in accordance with the Property Department’s procedures and the CDM regulations.
MANAGEMENT AND RELATIONSHIPS
The Parish Building Surveyor will work as part of the Church of England in Birmingham’s Property Team, under the management of the Director of Property. Within the Team, the Parish Building Surveyor will work closely with the Care of Churches Officer and Places of Worship Support Officer. Within the wider office, the Parish Building Surveyor will also need to liaise closely with the Property Director, the Diocesan Secretary, the Archdeacons of the diocese, the Area Deans, and the Mission, Education and Communications Teams, as appropriate for the needs and objectives of a given project.
Under the new People and Places framework it is proposed that there will be 6 no. deaneries with an Area Dean acting in each Deanery. The Parish Building Surveyor will have the responsibility to support the Operational Manager as requested on property related matters.
The substantial part of the Parish Building Surveyor’s role will require developing working relationships outside of the office, on-site at various churches. As such, there will be frequent contact with clergy, churchwardens and members of the PCC and congregation with responsibility for church buildings.
A successful Parish Building Surveyor candidate will have:
RICS or CIOB (or equivalent body, such as RIBA) qualified (chartered building surveyor) with 3 years post qualification experience, with a requirement for Continuing Professional Development;
Experience of planning and decision-making processes within large and complex organisation;
Knowledge of cost estimating, negotiating tenders, financial monitoring and control;
Knowledge of supervising, undertaking property inspections and assessing audits, and managing professional consultants;
Knowledge of preventative maintenance planning;
Knowledge of health and safety legislation affecting the built environment;
Knowledge of Statutory Compliance regulation, Planning and Building Regulation procedures, and experience of working in Listed Buildings, including an understanding of the related requirements of:
The Care of Churches and Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Measure 1991 (amended 2015) (CCEJM 1991);
The Faculty Jurisdiction Rules 2015 (FJR 2015);
Knowledge of procurement and contractual practises and procedures;
A clear interest in supporting places of worship to be welcoming and attractive places for all ages;
Strong interpersonal skills, to help persuade PCCs that it is vital to the future of their church and community to investing time and energy into ensuring their church building and ancillary buildings are compliant and well maintained;
Experience in successful problem solving and project management;
Excellent skills in leadership, interpersonal relationships, negotiation and persuasion, and written and visual communication and presentation; and
The capacity to work and make decisions with a high level of personal discretion.
Please ensure that you reference these criteria in your application.
Due to the major emphasis on visiting churches and working outside of the office, a Parish Building Surveyor candidate must have a valid driving licence and access to an appropriately insured vehicle.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Hours: Full-time (35 hours per week) for a fixed term of 5 years, with the possibility of extension depending on funding.
Salary: £27,000 to £32,000, depending upon experience.
Pension: Membership of the Church Workers Pension scheme with 12% employer contributions.
Holidays: 25 days per year plus Bank Holidays plus 3 additional Diocesan Discretionary Days.
The post holder will report to the Director of Property.
The employer is the Birmingham Diocesan Board of Finance (BDBF).
Deadline for Applications: 15th February 2019 Interviews: 20th February 2019