Meet some of us

Natalie Stewart, Head of Financial Accounting and Operations  

Natalie Stewart

Can you tell us a bit about your role?

I manage the Payroll, Financial Accounting, Treasury, Accounts Payable, Receivable and Ledgers teams, which means that day-to-day, I try to ensure that the way the NCIs collect and spend funds is as efficient, effective and transparent as possible. In finance we support all of the NCIs, which means that we have to be flexible and adaptable in helping them to meet their various objectives. I’m lucky to work with a great team who have a wealth of skills and experience to help me.

What would you say to someone thinking about working here?

The Church of England is probably one of the most interesting places you will ever have the opportunity to work – in every sense of the word. Being in Central Services, we get to work with people doing a whole range of fascinating things across the NCIs, and no day is the same.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I remember being in year 6 and everyone in my class (including me) laughing at a boy who said he wanted to be an accountant when he grew up. I’d tell 11 year old me that being an accountant is much more interesting than you think!

What couldn’t you get through the weekend without?

At least one lie in!

 Nade Beddows, Record Centre Assistant 

Nade Beddows

Can you tell us a bit about your role?

I am a Records Centre Assistant and Deputy Buildings Manager. I deal with day-to-day enquiries from creating user accounts to property queries and issuing files and deeds. As part of my Deputy Building Manager role, I carry out inspections of the building, resolve issues and liaise with contractors and our Facilities Manager regarding works that need to be carried out on site. This side of my role encouraged me to volunteer and train as a Fire Marshall and a First Aider for the Record Centre. On a more social note, I am a member of the Sports and Social Committee which provides various discounted activities and clubs to join. I highly recommend their darts competitions!

What would you say to someone thinking about working here?

I would say it would be a good start to familiarise themselves with our values which are Excellence, Integrity and Respect. These are values that I can identify with inside as well as outside of work. Although the roles across the NCIs differ greatly, we all work towards achieving these values which makes the appeal of working here even greater.

Over my 10 years of being with the NCIs I feel my teamwork skills have improved due to the huge variety of people I have worked with and I would say that it has become one of my strongest attributes. Working here has boosted my confidence and I enjoy being part of a team that supports the wider mission of the NCIs.  There are plenty of opportunities to develop, whether personally or professionally, with a range of different courses or clubs/committees on offer and a great pension!

What couldn’t you get through the weekend without? 

Once the gym is out of the way, I spend my weekends with friends and family. Some examples include planning a trip to the beach, activities in the park or even a board game night (tequila included).

What’s your favourite box set, TV show, or film?

I have too many favourite films and TV shows but I would say The Dark Knight Series which I could watch over and over again. I am a bit of geek at heart with my collection of graphic novels and comics, the majority of which are Batman.

Jenny Jacobs, Head of Governance Services and Outreach

Jenny Jacobs

Can you tell us a bit about your role?

My role is part of the Central Secretariat team which manages all the governance meetings for the Church, including General Synod. I support the Archbishops’ Council which is the Board of Trustees for the Church and meets 5 times per year. I work with all teams across the NCIs to prepare papers for the Council, ensuring that the Council members are adequately informed to make decisions on strategy and funding.

What would you say to someone thinking about working here?

The NCIs are a great place to work. No two days are ever the same, and the work that we do has a huge impact on society.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Make the most of every opportunity

Bola Odulate, Office Services Support Operative

Bola Odulate

Can you tell us a bit about your role?

I work mainly in the Hospitality section of the department. My role involves: preparing and delivering hot beverages and refreshments, clearing meeting rooms and setting up for the next meeting, assisting organisers to connect their devices to the audio visual equipment, re-ordering stock as required and booking meetings. The other part of my role that I enjoy is being able to rotate within the other departments and providing cover as required. I cover breaks at the reception desk where I answer calls. I will soon be trained to work in the print room where I will be expected to carry out print jobs from request to production.

What would you say to someone thinking about working here?

I have been working at Church House for 4 months and I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment. My managers are very proactive, checking and ensuring that I settled in properly. I have good team members who are always helpful and never tried of my questions. There is a culture of career development within the organisation. My managers continue to discuss my development during our one-to-one meetings and put me forward for training to help my growth and development. I have also met a number of people in the building and learnt about different aspects of the NCIs. I would like to say if you are considering joining the NCIs, you will not regret it. I have had a positive experience.

What couldn’t you get through the weekend without? 

I could get through the weekend without TV, sleep, food etc, but the only one thing I can’t do without is my mobile phone.

What’s your favourite box set, TV show, or film?

My son and I love to watch Supergirl.

Andrew Brown, Office Services Support Operative

Andrew Brown

Can you tell us a bit about your role?

As an Office Services Operative, I am part of a relatively small team and I have a very varied role, normally doing one of three things: Hospitality, where I am in the kitchen on the 1st floor looking after the meeting rooms around the building, print room where we look after all the printers around the building and I also get to produce the booklets, posters, documents and committee papers that everyone uses in their day to day work and meetings and logistics, which involves driving the van from Church House to Lambeth Palace and then on to CERC in Bermondsey. This is a role I enjoy as the jobs that are requested can be very different.

What would you say to someone thinking about working here?

Do it!!! The NCIs is a unique employer, with an eclectic, fantastic group of people already working for them, that ultimately all have the same goal. What an opportunity to be part of an organisation with so much history.

What couldn’t you get through the weekend without?

Music...I do love my music, I have a very jumbled playlist listening to anything from The Dave Clark Five to Wagner, depending on my mood and time.

What’s your favourite box set, TV show, or film?

Stargate SG1.

Jenny Wilkins, Web and Analytics Officer

Jenny Wilkins

Can you tell us a bit about your role?

I work within the Digital team as part of the wider Comms team. My role is primarily focused on the Church of England website. I upload information and analyse its data in order to further improve the website for its users, whilst also producing regular performance reports. Additionally, I help with our campaigns such as #LiveLent and support both the app and email communications.

What would you say to someone thinking about working here?

Working in Church House is so lovely. Everyone in the office is unbelievably kind and it never feels like we are far from management with regular briefings from William Nye and opportunities to listen to Q & A’s with the Archbishop of Canterbury. My team are also incredibly supportive and encouraging and it’s a place that I feel comfortable to learn and grow.

What couldn’t you get through the weekend without? 

Listening to a musical soundtrack, at the moment Come From Away and Hamilton are my favourites. I would say going to the theatre but that would get very expensive so I have had to limit myself to once a month.

What’s your favourite box set, TV show, or film?

Guardians of the Galaxy is my favourite film. It's just such a classic, bit of light-hearted fun but with a good storyline and again another amazing soundtrack.

 Terry Willis, Director of Technology

Terry Willis

Can you tell us a bit about your role?

I am the Director of Technology and responsible for all aspects of technology used by the NCIs. My team provide consultation and support for all users in a diverse user landscape and varied portfolio of requirements.

What would you say to someone thinking about working here?

Most people presume that working for the Church must be serious or just downright dull. But this could not be further from the truth, there is a truly diverse mix of people from many areas of the Church and we all have a common goal and have fun doing it.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Don't stress about the small stuff, life is full of twists and turns so enjoy every day as if it was your last!

What couldn’t you get through the weekend without?

Guilty secret time, a big fry up, may not be physically healthy but mentally it’s a comforting hug.

 Dr Eeva John, Enabling Officer

Eeva John

Can you tell us a bit about your role? 

Living in Love and Faith is the name of a project that the Church of England embarked on in 2017. Its subtitle, Christian Teaching and Learning about Identity, Sexuality, Relationships and Marriage describes it well. The aim is to produce a wide range of resources – a book, study guides, podcasts, films and an online library – to enable the whole Church to learn and think more deeply about these matters.

My job title is ‘Enabling Officer’ for Living in Love and Faith, which is a good description of what I do. It is a fixed term post with the single aim of bringing this project to fruition by 2020. I have been working with bishops, academics, clergy and Church House staff to produce the resources in as collaborative and transparent way as possible. That means that I also have the immense privilege of reaching out to ‘ordinary’ church people so that their stories and perspectives are included as part of the resources. My job is exciting, daunting, rewarding and, and very stretching in its complexity. The subject matter is sensitive and there are profound disagreements – so it is both a privilege and a joy to be personally shaped by the huge diversity of people of faith alongside whom I work.

What would you say to someone thinking about working here?

Working in the NCIs offers an opportunity to serve the Church of England at a national level. That doesn’t make it more important than being involved in your local community or church, but it does offer insights into what is involved in supporting local churches across the country as well as helping the Church of England to play its part in serving the life of the nation. If you like to be part of something that is striving to change and adapt then this is a good moment to be a part of the National Church Institutions. 

I commute into London by train with my Brompton. I love the cycle into Westminster from Liverpool St along Victoria Embankment: working in such a beautiful part of London is something I never take for granted! Having said that, I also work from home quite a bit, especially when I have projects that need my focused attention, and I really appreciate that flexibility. From time to time my job also takes me around the country which adds variety to my working week.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I would tell my younger self to be more courageous about asking questions and speaking out about things that are important, but only when I can do so kindly and generously. I would also tell my younger (as well as older) self not to worry too much about what other people think!

What couldn’t you get through the weekend without? 

I couldn’t get through a weekend without spending some time outdoors, ideally enjoying nature in a way that also involves getting physically tired at some point! Walking, cycling, hiking, any of these will do!

Stephen Knott, Assistant Chief of Staff to the Archbishop of Canterbury

Man crouching in bluebells

Can you tell us a bit about your role? 

I am the Assistant Chief of Staff at Lambeth Palace and my job is to support the work of the Chief of Staff, with particular oversight of all the operational functions of the Palace, a historic Grade I listed building in the heart of London – Facilities, Hospitality, Finance, Records, Correspondence – all the things that we need to work safely and effectively.  It’s a super place to work and I lead a fantastic team, without which I couldn’t do my job.

What would you say to someone thinking about working here?

It’s a great organisation to work in and there are so many amazing colleagues doing fantastic work across many areas.  There are lots of opportunities for training and development and lots of benefits too.  It’s important for me to work for an organisation I care about, so that gives me additional drive to do my best.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Grasp every opportunity you can find and don’t hold back at pushing yourself forward, because no one else is going to do it for you.  Don’t be afraid to get out there and explore all the career opportunities that are available – even if they are voluntary.  My very first job started as work experience and I ended up staying 10 years!

What couldn’t you get through the weekend without? 

My kitchen – I love cooking and it is my escape after a busy week in the office!

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The Archbishops' Council, Church Commissioners and Church of England Pensions Board are the three main operating bodies of the Church of England. The other National Church Institutions can be found on our website.
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