The Church of England Parliamentary Unit resources the 26 bishops in the House of Lords, the MP who serves as Second Church Estates Commissioner, and helps the National Church Institutions (the Archbishops' Council, Church Commissioners, Lambeth Palace and Bishopthorpe) to engage more effectively with the Parliamentary process. It develops and maintains links with Parliamentarians of both Houses, charitable and non-governmental organisations, and other denominations and faiths.
The purpose of the post is to support the Bishop of St Albans in his diocesan work and in his Parliamentary duties. It will also add additional capacity to the work of the Parliamentary Unit as well as becoming involved in the Church's wider public policy and Parliamentary work.
This wide-ranging role will include research and information gathering, briefing, speech writing managing appointments, events and other activities on behalf of the Bishop of St Albans and the Parliamentary Unit.
This is a unique opportunity to gain experience, training and guidance in a range of areas relating to Parliament and the Public Affairs work of the Church of England, including working alongside Parliamentarians on legislative issues.
PARLIAMENTARY EXPERIENCE PROGRAMME:
The successful applicant can expect to receive experience and training in a range of areas relating to Parliament and the Public Affairs work of the Church of England, including:
- Hands-on experience of working alongside parliamentarians on legislative issues (including briefing, research, speech writing, event organisation);
- Training in Parliamentary procedure by an established external training organisation;
- Professional guidance and support from the Parliamentary Unit and the Mission and Public Affairs (MPA) teams;
- Opportunity to focus on specific policy areas in depth, as determined by the priorities of the Bishop;
- Introductions to wide networks of contacts in other churches and stakeholder organisations;
- Opportunity to attend an autumn Party Conference and other stakeholder events;
- Access to the Parliamentary estate through provision of a sponsored pass.
MAIN duties and responsibilities
- Acting as a research assistant to the Bishop of St Albans in his diocesan duties. This will involve researching and drafting talks, articles and lectures;
- Assisting the Bishop of St Albans in his Parliamentary duties; keeping him informed about Parliamentary timetables and developments; researching materials for his speeches, interventions etc.; liaising with others in Parliament and the Church on his behalf;
- Working with the Parliamentary Unit to ensure that the Bishop of St Albans is kept abreast of the wider activities of the Lords Spiritual and the Parliamentary Unit;
- Liaising with other Parliamentarians on behalf of the Bishop of St Albans;
- Drafting articles and press releases about the Bishop of St Albans’ work, which will be issued in liaison with his Communications Officer;
- Assisting with disseminating the Church’s Parliamentary responses to specific issues or bills, as agreed with the Head of Parliamentary Affairs and Deputy Head of Parliamentary Affairs;
- Supporting the Head of Parliamentary Affairs and Deputy Head of Parliamentary Affairs in their responsibilities and deputising for them as necessary.
This job description may be changed from time to time in response to the changing needs of the Bishop of St Albans and the Parliamentary Unit.
The ideal candidate
Skills / Aptitudes:
- Excellent ICT skills;
- Excellent communication skills, verbally and in writing;
- Excellent organisational skills, including time management, diary management etc.;
- Research skills, with the ability to gather information quickly and accurately;
- The ability to perform well as part of a team.
Knowledge / Experience:
- Knowledge of Parliamentary processes;
- Some knowledge of the structures of the Church of England;
- Proven ability in presenting complex data in manageable and informative ways;
- Some experience of organising events (receptions, seminars, small and large meetings etc.).
- An open and collaborative working style;
- Discretion and judgement in handling confidential or sensitive material;
- Willingness to work creatively with people of differing political and theological persuasions.
- Degree level or equivalent.
- Willingness and ability to work some unsocial hours when required.
- A Level (or equivalent) or degree in a relevant subjects, such as politics, theology etc.
Skills / Aptitudes:
- Database management;
- Ability to discern the impact of policies, legislation etc. on the Church of England, other churches, and other faith communities.
Knowledge / Experience:
- Proven administrative ability in drafting briefing papers, press releases, bulletins and other accessible modes of communication;
- Experience of Parliamentary processes, political parties, think tanks, lobby groups etc.;
- Knowledge or experience of ecumenical structures;
- A grasp of the key issues facing the Church of England in its public role today.
- Ability to manage his/her own work programme with minimal direct management
- Ability to deliver outcomes to deadlines and to work under pressure
We in the National Church Institutions support the mission and ministries of the Church all over England. We work with parishes, dioceses, 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.
We offer a minimum of 25 days holiday plus 3 defined organisational days leave and an attractive 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.