Executive Recruitment

The Chief Executive Role

Purpose Statement

To serve the mission of the Church of England in East London and Essex as the senior executive of the CDBF Group by developing and implementing strategies, policies and plans, managing diocesan functions and supporting the work of the Bishop.

Nature and Scope

The Diocese of Chelmsford is one of the largest and most diverse dioceses in the Church of England covering five East London Boroughs, the whole County of Essex, and the unitary authorities of Southend and Thurrock.

Some key statistics include:

  • 1500 square miles with a population of 3.25M, growing at 1% annually
  • Some 470 parishes, 575 church buildings and 140 church schools
  • 33,000 regular worshippers, which is below the national average and above the average age.
  • 500 people in ministry roles, one third lay.
  • A budget of £24M for the CDBF Group with 95 employees

The Chief Executive & Diocesan Secretary is traditionally the most senior lay leader in the diocese working in close partnership with the Bishop of Chelmsford and her staff team.  The Chief Executive heads up the Chelmsford Diocesan Board of Finance, which is the registered company and registered charity charged with managing the financial affairs and various statutory functions of the diocese.  The CDBF is responsible for a wide range of services, including: property and finance, safeguarding, education services to church schools, communications, ministry training and development, management of closed churches, the Retreat House, buildings advice to parishes.

The Rt Revd Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani has been appointed as the next Bishop of Chelmsford and is expected to begin her new ministry from Easter 2021. To support the process which led to her appointment, the diocese produced a Statement of Needs, which gives more information on our context and the opportunities and challenges that we face. 

Read our Statement of Needs

The Chief Executive will be starting at the very beginning of a new chapter of diocesan life and witness and will have a prominent role alongside Bishop Guli in discerning and developing strategic priorities.

At a national level, significant work is in progress under the title Renewal and Reform and the recently agreed A vision for the Church of England in the 2020s. The Bishop and Chief Executive will, together, have key roles in developing and implementing these priorities regionally and locally.

Within the diocese, there is a formal Area Scheme and a team of 7 Archdeacons. There is scope for further work to ensure resources are deployed at the right levels across the diocese and potential for greater joint-working between the diocesan and cathedral offices.   

Alongside these exciting new possibilities, the Chief Executive will lead our continuing response to a range of opportunities and challenges, including: 

  • our aim to plant 101 new Christian Communities (with significant support from the Church Commissioner’s Strategic Development Fund),
  • to work towards increasing the payment of parish share following a persistent shortfall in recent years,
  • to manage our resources to maximise their missional impact. This includes reducing expenditure (including a proportional reduction in stipendiary clergy numbers) where necessary to achieve a balanced budget following the adverse effects of the Covid pandemic,
  • our commitment to best practice in safeguarding,
  • to support the diocesan response to the 5th Mark of Mission including the aim of becoming carbon neutral by 2030
  • to ensure an effective response to the Growing Faith initiative and greater priority of children, young people and families in diocesan life.

The role of Chief Executive & Diocesan Secretary is unlike any other in the diocesan organisation.  The post holder has a unique opportunity to contribute to the mission of the Church in East London and Essex.  It is an exciting, rewarding and highly challenging role.  The post holder must be able to hold the big picture and be in command of the detail, bold and confident to engage on strategic questions, yet with a servant heart.

For further information, please click here to visit our website.