The Cathedral and Church Buildings Division, chaired by the Bishop of Worcester, celebrates and supports the maintenance and sustainable development of the Church of England’s 42 cathedrals and nearly 16,000 churches for mission and worship. Through advice, strategic guidance, campaigning, fundraising and grant-giving, it provides strategic support to those responsible for cathedral and church buildings at a local level.
The Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England is the national statutory body for 41 of the Church of England’s cathedrals, with duties relating to their care, conservation and development, including determining applications for the approval of certain works to their fabric and contents and within their precincts. The Director of the Cathedral and Church Buildings Division is the Secretary of the Commission and is the statutory officer responsible for the discharge of the Commission’s duties. She is supported by the Cathedrals Team, which comprises the Senior Cathedrals Officer, the Head of Conservation, and the Cathedrals and Major Churches Officer.
The Church Buildings Council is a statutory body responsible for advising Chancellors, dioceses and parishes on faculty applications and on the care, conservation and development of the Church of England’s 16,000 church buildings. The Council’s Major Projects Officer is currently leading a project working with major parish churches: exceptionally significant parish church buildings with a different order of opportunities and challenges compared to the majority of parish churches.
The post-holder will work with a wide range of stakeholders within the Church and the wider heritage world. These include cathedral Deans and Administrators and the incumbents of major parish churches; Chairs and Secretaries of cathedral Fabric Advisory Committees; church and cathedral architects and archaeologists; the staff of Historic England regional teams, the National Amenity Societies, and local authority planning and conservation teams; the Association of English Cathedrals, and its Cathedral Projects Support Panel; professional organisations such as the Cathedral Architects Association; and others.
We are seeking a Cathedrals and Major Churches Officer to:
Principally, support the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of the Cathedrals Fabric Commission in ensuring the smooth and timely discharge of the Commission’s statutory and wider functions under the Care of Cathedrals Measure 2011.
Coordinate the production of expert guidance on topics relating to the casework of the Cathedrals Fabric Commission and Church Buildings Council, to be approved and issued by those bodies.
Work with the Major Projects Officer on policy initiatives and casework for the Church Buildings Council relating to Major Parish Churches.
Interviews are scheduled to be held week commencing 21st January 2019.
Dealing with such casework for the Cathedrals Fabric Commission as may be delegated by the Deputy Secretary, and with such casework for the Church Buildings Council (relating to major churches) as may be delegated by the Major Projects Officer and Senior Church Buildings Officer. This may include following up applications to ensure that adequate information is available; arranging and attending visits by members of the Commission and Council to discuss proposals on site and writing reports on such visits for consideration by those bodies; and presenting proposals to meetings of those bodies.
Coordinating the production of expert guidance on issues relating to the casework of the Cathedrals Fabric Commission and Church Buildings Council, to be approved and issued by those bodies.
Contributing to the development of policy initiatives relating to cathedrals and major churches.
Forming the first point of contact for cathedrals and major parish churches within the Cathedral and Church Buildings Division. This would include giving informal advice to Cathedral Administrators, Architects, Archaeologists and others on their duties under the Care of Cathedrals Measure 2011, maintaining good working relationships and communicating with them regularly on matters of common interest.
Primary responsibility for the administration of meetings of the Cathedrals Fabric Commission (approx. 7 times per year), including:
receiving formal notices submitted in respect of applications to cathedral Fabric Advisory Committees or for Listed Building or Scheduled Monument Consent, considering their implications, seeking further information where required, and producing a summary and recommendations for the Commission;
coordinating the circulation of papers; and,
taking the minutes, preparing promptly a draft for the approval of the Chair and Vice-Chair.
This list is not exhaustive and is intended to reflect the main tasks and areas of work – changes may occur over time and the post-holder will be expected to agree any reasonable changes to their job description that are commensurate with their banding and in line with the general nature of the post. They will be consulted about any changes to their job description before these are implemented.
Skills / Aptitudes:
Excellent written and spoken communication skills, including an ability to summarise detailed discussions and complex ideas cogently, and to convey criticism tactfully and constructively.
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 prioritise and organise one’s workload, working to deadlines and agreed standards even when under pressure.
An ability to work on one’s own initiative.
Attention to detail.
An excellent working knowledge of the use of information technology including Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint and Excel).
Knowledge / Experience:
Sympathetic understanding of the purposes of cathedrals and major churches as centres of Christian worship and mission.
Knowledge / experience of the use of church buildings and understanding of their architectural and archaeological development.
Knowledge / experience of the broad fields of conservation or heritage management, ideally in England, including planning legislation and the operation of the systems.
Knowledge / experience of the adaptation of historic buildings for contemporary needs and extended uses in a manner consistent with their historic and architectural significance.
Knowledge / experience of working with committees.
The ability to be a constructive member of a team, able to communicate, work creatively with colleagues, and manage competing demands.
The ability to deal tactfully, respectfully and productively with a wide range of contacts.
Flexibility and adaptability in the face of changing requirements.
A good degree or post-graduate qualification in a field relevant to the Commission’s activities. Extensive workplace experience may be accepted in lieu of a formal qualification.
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) to cathedrals and conference venues around the country, which will occasionally necessitate overnight stays – appropriate travel and accommodation expenses will be paid. The post holder should also be willing to work at heights when on site visits.
A good degree or post-graduate qualification specifically in the history of art and architecture, archaeology, the conservation of historic buildings, heritage management, or some other directly relevant subject.
Skills / Aptitudes:
Familiarity with the use of social media.
A working knowledge of the use of content management systems for websites.
Knowledge / Experience:
Knowledge / experience of the issues faced by the Church of England in maintaining its historic buildings in changing and often difficult circumstances.
Previous experience in an organisation concerned with the conservation of historic buildings and their planned development.
Experience of grant-giving and the management of grant funds.
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We are committed to building a culturally diverse workforce. As part of this commitment, we welcome applications from people, regardless of their background. As a Disability Confident committed employer, it is important to note that there may be occasions where it is not practical or appropriate to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria* due to high volume. We limit the amount of interviews conducted to five applicants per open post we advertise.