Executive Recruitment

Diocese of Chelmsford

Dear Applicant

Thank you for exploring the role of Finance Director with the Diocese of Chelmsford serving the people of East London and Essex. We are the second largest Church of England Diocese in terms of population and one of the largest in terms of income. This is a complex and rewarding opportunity to make a difference for Christ in a large and diverse part of the Church of England.

As a Diocese we are going through a period of change, challenge and opportunity: Bishop Guli started her ministry as Bishop of Chelmsford relatively recently, and I was appointed as CEO only a year ago. A strategy to achieve a balanced budget and ensure longer-term financial stability is being established so that we can best resource and support ministry in our parishes and local worshipping communities; and the finance department is about to implement a new up-to-date accounting package as we upgrade processes and controls. A wise and capable leader and change-agent is required who is not fazed by complex challenges.

The successful candidate will be a qualified accountant, with considerable experience in financial strategic planning and delivery, governance, change-management, and team leadership. You will need to be self-motivated, resilient, analytical and relational. A committed Christian faith is required, in addition to excellent communication, a good sense of humour and a collaborative but decisive leadership style.

I hope that you find this candidate brief helpful. I acknowledge that this is a two-way discernment process and I look forward to discussing the opportunity with you.

Michaela Southworth
Chief Executive and Diocesan Secretary

Our Context

The Diocese of Chelmsford is vibrant and growing with a diverse population of over 3 million people, 463 parishes and 140 schools across Essex, the unitary authorities of Southend and Thurrock, and five East London Boroughs.  The Chelmsford Diocesan Board of Finance (CDBF) is the company and registered charity that manages its financial affairs.  The annual turnover of the CDBF is in excess of £24m, with a balance sheet of over £350m, mostly comprising operational property assets.  The CDBF has few historic investments and relies largely on parish share contributions for income.  We are committed to a programme of moving the diocese from subsidy to sustainability.

This is a time of unique challenge and necessary change for the Church of England and the Diocese of Chelmsford.  The CDBF has a key part to play in enabling and delivering this change.  This includes growing financial security through intelligent efficiencies and improved business processes, whilst seeking new revenue opportunities and income streams.  The finance function is, of course, critical to this and is in need of redesign and change.

As Chelmsford Diocese seek to implement its strategic priorities and continues to be a Transforming Presence across Essex and East London, with the financial challenges brought about by COVID-19, there is a need to increase the financial leadership and expertise within the senior leadership of the diocese. This is a complex and rewarding opportunity to make a difference for Christ in a large and diverse part of the Church of England.

Vision and strategy

We aspire to be a transforming presence in every community, open and welcoming to everyone and living out God’s love for all people. 

The Transforming Presence strategy has shaped our priorities in recent years and will be refreshed in the next few years as new opportunities for mission and ministry are discerned under the leadership of Bishop Guli. 

Outcomes from Transforming Presence have included: 

  • a big rise in the number of vocations to both lay and ordained ministry
  • the creation of three additional archdeaconries so that archdeacons have greater capacity, freeing the area bishops to be leaders of mission 
  • an increased emphasis on lay training and pioneer ministry 
  • a drive to plant 101 New Christian Communities, some of which are supported by the Strategic Development Fund of the national Church, and
  • the creation of mutually supportive Mission & Ministry Units across the diocese, making better use of stipendiary clergy as leaders of multi-disciplinary teams 
  • a fresh impetus for work with and for children, young people and families.

"As Christian communities, I believe our task is to be faithful; to share the good news of Jesus Christ and to continue serving the world; to work well together and in partnership with others."

Rt Rev Guli Francis-Dehqani, Bishop of Chelmsford