Head of Lambeth Palace Library

- London, United Kingdom

Ref: 456Friday 16 June 2023

£75,055 plus benefits

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Head of Lambeth Palace Library

Number of positions: 1

Salary:  £75,055

Working Hours: 35 per week

Location: Lambeth Palace Library, 15 Lambeth Palace Road, London

Closing date: 18th June 2023

Vacancy Category: National Church Institutions

Business Unit: National Church Institutions

Organisational Unit: Lambeth Palace Library


Our aim is for everyone in the National Church Institutions (NCIs) to feel that they belong and are valued for who they are and what they contribute. Together, our people contribute in different ways towards our common purpose whichever NCI they work in and whatever their background.

Lambeth Palace Library, founded 1610, is the historic library and record office of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Following the merger with the Church of England Record Centre in 2020, it is now the principal repository for the archives not only of the Archbishop of Canterbury, but also of the National Church Institutions in London.

The Vision of Lambeth Palace Library is to collect, preserve and make accessible the memory of the Church of England, so its cultural and religious history can be enjoyed by all.

Designed by award-winning architects Wright & Wright, our new building will safeguard the future of the library and increase the accessibility of its world-class collection.

Further details can be found on the Library’s website: www.lambethpalacelibrary.info


In this key role as Head of Lambeth Palace Library, you will support the vision and mission of the Library by leading both the strategic development and day to day management of the Library.

Working closely with the Director of Bishoprics and Cathedrals, you will develop and deliver the strategic plan for the new Lambeth Palace Library, in particular fulfilling its vision to make the collections accessible to all.

To arrange an informal conversation about the role, please contact our search partner Simon Burton, Director CB Resourcing by t: +44(0)2076529679 or e: simon.burton@cbresourcing.com

The closing date for applications is the 18th June 2023

First stage interviews will be held on the 4th July 2023 at Lambeth Palace Library.

Second stage interviews will be held on the 18th July 2023 at Lambeth Palace Library.

To apply please visit https://www.cbresourcing.com/job/head-of-lambeth-palace-library-456/apply.aspx

The Church of England is for everyone, and we want to reflect the diversity of the community the Church serves across the whole country. Therefore, while of course we welcome all applications from interested and suitable experienced people, we would particularly welcome applications from UK Minority Ethnic Backgrounds and disabled people.

We offer a unique environment with opportunities for continuous learning, generous annual leave for work-life balance, season ticket loans and a range of benefits including discounted entry to attractions and what we feel is a market-leading package when it comes to our pension scheme.

Main Responsibilities:

Strategy & Vision

  • Develop and deliver the strategic plan for the new Lambeth Palace Library as the national library and archive for the Church of England, in particular, fulfilling its vision to make the collections as accessible as possible.
  • To develop and deliver a strategy for digitisation of the library’s collections.
  • Lead on the development of policies, systems and processes that support the vision and mission of the Library.
  • Organising fund-raising for the Library, especially for conservation, computerisation, digitisation and cataloguing.
  • Ensuring the development and enhancement of the collections by appropriate acquisitions in line with the library’s collection policy.
  • Working closely with other relevant stakeholders to support the growth and development of the Library and its position in the library and archive profession.

Leadership & Operations

  • Leading, empowering and motivating staff teams, providing opportunities for professional development and training and development of collection-based expertise.
  • Working with Library colleagues to ensure the security and safe use of the collections; and Palace colleagues to ensure the safe and secure operation of the building for all staff and visitors.
  • Improving role appropriate collections knowledge through regular continuing professional development activities.
  • Managing all aspects of the work of the Library, assigning priorities and workloads to deliver the vision and mission of the library.
  • Leading the Library team through regular staff meetings.
  • Ensuring accurate budgeting and financial management.  Preparation of an annual budget, monitoring and control of expenditure within budget and submission of regular accounts.
  • To work closely with the wider NCI senior leadership team supporting and encouraging organisational change and development and participating in relevant initiatives as appropriate.


  • Engaging with readers and researchers to promote the use of the collections, through programmes of meetings, visits and exhibitions.
  • Developing and improving services to the public including the reading room, enquiry services, reprographics, websites, digital and remote access etc.
  • Participating in, and where necessary delivering, role appropriate outreach and engagement activities to support the Library’s vision to be accessible to all.
  • Producing an Annual Review of the work of the Library.
  • Leading the Library’s engagement with scholarship as the principal research library for English Church history.
  • Co-ordinating and supporting the work of the Friends and Trustees of Lambeth Palace Library to enable them to achieve their objectives of supporting the development of the Library.
  • Acting as Secretary to the Friends of Lambeth Palace Library.

The Ideal Candidate:

Essential requirements:


  • Excellent communicator and influencer, both oral and written.
  • Good leadership and people management skills and the ability to motivate staff.
  • Ability to work effectively with both members and staff of corporate bodies at all levels.
  • Good overall knowledge of IT systems including familiarity with library and archive applications.


  • Practical experience of managing, promoting and developing historical collections of archives, manuscripts and printed books and improving outreach and access to them.
  • Experience of leading on the development/improvement of policies, systems and processes.
  • Experience of successful fundraising.
  • Experience of working with multi-disciplinary professional teams comprising archivists, librarians, and conservators.
  • Experience of successfully managing projects to a budget and timetable.
  • Active participant in the library and/or archival profession.

Personal Attributes:

  • Experienced people manager with the ability to improve team capability and operational performance.
  • Ability to communicate enthusiasm for historical research and collections.


  • Good level of education including an honours degree or equivalent.
  • Professional qualification in Archives, Conservation or Librarianship or equivalent experience.



  • An interest in, and enthusiasm for, historical library and archive collections.

Knowledge/ Experience

  • Knowledge of or interest in the Church of England and its history.
  • Knowledge of British history, with an interest in ecclesiastical history.
  • Experience with manuscripts and archives, including palaeography.

About us

In the National Church Institutions (NCIs), we support the mission and ministries of the Church of England. We work with parishes, dioceses, schools, chaplaincies and other ministries, and with national and international partners including mission agencies, and other denominations and faith groups. Find out more about working for the National Church Institutions at https://www.churchofengland.org/about/careers

NCI values

  • We strive for excellence
  • We collaborate
  • We act with integrity
  • We show compassion
  • We respect others 

We welcome everyone and we accept and value people for who they are and what they contribute, treating others in the way we would wish to be treated ourselves. We actively listen to and include others, encouraging and enabling everyone’s voice to be heard in discussions and decisions. When we disagree, we aim to disagree well with respect and kindness.  

We want to encourage applications from a diverse group of people. Even if you have never thought about working for us before, if you have the skills and experience we’re looking for then we would like to hear from you. If there is anything we can do to support you in your application please get in touch via email to hr.recruitment@churchofengland.org.

As a Disability Confident Leader, we actively look to attract, recruit and retain those of you who are disabled.  

We are a member of the Armed Forces Covenant, and welcome applications from those of you who have served in our Armed Forces and their families. 

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