The Church of England is the state church of England, headquartered in Westminster. It has around 25 million members, and its churches are visited by an estimated 35 to 50 million tourists every year. The organisation is led by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, and 106 other bishops, while the Queen is the supreme governor with the responsibility to appoint archbishops, bishops and deans of cathedrals on the advice of the prime minister.
At Christmas many of us choose to visit a church to pray, sing and give thanks. But how many of these people have ever considered that they could find a fulfilling career in the church? Hannah Foster, director of HR at the National Church Institutions of the Church of England, says recruitment has often been a stumbling block for the organisation. “People just don’t realise the breadth of jobs available in the Church of England,” she tells HRmagazine. “Everybody knows we have priests – that much is obvious, and we do have fabulous people doing that work – but we also have marketing people, HR teams, project managers, and so on.
“The roles could be ordained, or at governance level, or even voluntary. We have a huge number of opportunities, but they seemed to be getting lost at an organisational level.”
In an increasingly digital world Foster knew the Church could find a way to reach people who were not spotting opportunities advertised in the traditional manner. “We needed to reach the person in an office 10 miles away, who might like to work for us but didn’t know there was a job available because they don’t look at the parish noticeboard,” she says. “We had a lot of people who joined us over the years who have said they didn’t think of us as a place to work because we simply weren’t on their radar – but they were glad they had found us. Our job was to make those roles more visible.”