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Chair of Finance and Chapter Trustee

St Edmundsbury Cathedral
Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
Volunteer Role
Closing date
27 Dec 2023

St Edmundsbury Cathedral became a registered charity on 2 May 2023 and is looking to appoint additional independent non-executive members to join Chapter which is the Board of Trustees. Chapter is accountable for the governance, strategic direction and management of the Cathedral, and has ultimate responsibility for the care, maintenance and development of the Cathedral estate, all aspects of Cathedral activity, and for securing its long term viability and financial sustainability.

In this instance the Cathedral is looking at recruiting someone with relevant financial understandings and experience who would thrive as the Chair of the Finance committee.  

Chair of Finance 

In addition to your role as Chapter Trustee, you will hold the position of The Chair of the Finance Committee. The Committee is expected to meet six times a year and is responsible for monitoring and making recommendations to Chapter on all financial matters including: 

  • Monitoring and reviewing the overall financial strategies and financial policies of the Cathedral and oversight of the financial procedures, making recommendations as appropriate to Chapter
  • The Cathedral’s budgets- Reviewing the Cathedral’s draft budget, including proposed capital expenditure and major projects, and providing advice to the Chapter to assist Chapter’s consideration and approval of the budget.
  • Historical and forecast financial management information Financial oversight of major projects and developments, including scrutinising judgements
  • Monitoring the most recently prepared financial management information including management accounts, performance against budget, relevant key performance indicators, forecasts and cash flow forecasts, and reporting to the Chapter
  • Banking arrangements, including selection of bank counterparties and bank mandate arrangements
  • Borrowings
  • Investments, including the investment policy, ensuring that investment arrangements are aligned with the Chapter’s long-term objectives and ethical policy, ensuring compliance with endowment restrictions, and advising on selection and performance of investment managers
  • Arrangements in relation to commercial property assets
  • The work of the Income Generation, Planned Giving Committees in raising donation and legacy income
  • Chapter’s arrangements in relation to reserves, including its reserves policy 

As Chair of the Committee you will oversee and lead the Committee meetings and ensure there smooth operation. Additionally, the Chair of Finance will work closely with the Finance Officer to update them and to maintain regular communication between committee meetings. 

Non-Executive Chapter Member

The objects of the Chapter are:

(a) to advance the Christian religion in accordance with the faith and practice of the Church of England, in particular by furthering the mission of the Church of England;

(b) to care for and conserve the fabric and structure of the Cathedral Church building;

The Cathedral has an annual turnover of approximately £2 million, which is spent each year on operating costs, and on maintaining the Cathedral building and properties. The Cathedral has approximately 45 employees, of which 16 work in the shop and café under the trading business St Edmundsbury Cathedral Enterprises Limited. 


The Chapter consists of the Dean, the Residentiary Canons and other lay members holding appointed or elected positions. The constitution allows for between 8 – 12 members of Chapter. Currently, membership comprises the Dean and the Residentiary Canons (5 clergy) who serve as executive members. One member serves as the senior non-executive member who is a lay person appointed by the Bishop.  He is also our member with relevant finance experience who chairs the Finance Committee. Two of the other non-executive members are directly elected from the congregation. We are now seeking to appoint up to three additional non-executive members.

Term of Office

Non-Executive Chapter members are generally appointed for a term of three years, and subject to the approval of Chapter and with the agreement of the non-executive member may serve a further three year term, which is the maximum permitted term of office. The role is voluntary and unremunerated. Expenses are paid in respect of some travelling costs, in accordance with the Cathedral’s policies. The appointment is subject to satisfactory references.

Time Commitment and Meetings

Chapter usually meets between six and eight times each year generally on various dates and times to accommodate all. Meetings are held in the Chapter Room within Abbey House beside the Cathedral and the business agenda rarely exceeds two hours. A light buffet or Evensong follows each meeting of Chapter, allowing time for members to socialise. Attendance at some sub-committee meetings as appropriate.

Key Responsibilities

Non-executive members of Chapter ensure that the focus of the Cathedral is the promotion of the Christian faith, maintaining an effective balance between that and its important financial and commercial obligations and ventures.

Members offer strategic advice and oversight on all aspects of the work of the Cathedral, including ensuring compliance with all regulations and statutory obligations and adherence to the highest standards of good governance. They also offer constructive challenge to the executive team, offering expertise and experience to help with evidence-based decision-making.

Chapter members advise and support the Dean, Residentiary Canons, and Chief Operating Officer on issues that are within their areas of particular expertise.

Chapter members are invited to bring innovative thinking, together with new ideas and insights, to help secure the long-term future of the Cathedral and the delivery of its strategy through the Masterplan 2030. Particular emphasis will be placed on members promoting the life and work of the Cathedral at the heart of the Bury St Edmunds community, across the county of Suffolk and the wider eastern region.

Chapter members are welcomed as leading members of the Cathedral community and as such are encouraged to take part in meetings and events. Visible participation in the worship at the heart of the Cathedral's mission is an important expression of the non-executive membership of Chapter. Lay members robe and have individual stalls in the Quire of the Cathedral. We would hope for occasional attendance at the Sunday Eucharist and Evensongs; Greater Festivals and civic occasions as personal circumstances permit.

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