My name is Jo Manser and I am the Personal Assistant to the Archdeacon of Canterbury (part-time). I have been in this post for just over 3 years, prior to this I worked at as P.A. in the Legal Department of Pfizer Limited and at Bowker Orford Chartered Accountants in London.
I am very privileged as my office is based in the Archdeacon’s house, a beautiful historic building located in the grounds of the Cathedral. It’s a busy household as the Works Department or the Cathedral gardeners make regular appearances to ensure the historic fabric is preserved. Meetings and interviews happen in the house as well as hospitality – aided by Maureen who keeps the house in order! I must also mention two very important residents of the Archdeaconry, Harvey and Nicks the Archdeacon’s cats!
The Archdeacon of Canterbury’s role is very varied from her Diocesan responsibilities to her Cathedral duties, as well as involvement in external bodies, which means that my role is very varied also. I am responsible for the day to day running of the Archdeacon’s office and my duties include: I am the first point of contact for any queries; assisting/liaising with the churchwardens/parish representatives during the vacancy process; I help arrange the annual churchwardens Visitation Services in Canterbury Cathedral working with various staff from the Cathedral and Diocesan offices; I arrange the hospitality for various functions that take place at the Archdeaconry; assist with arrangements for the Enthronement of Bishops in other dioceses and working with the Property Department with regard to church buildings and housing. The Archdeacon of Canterbury is the Curator for the Cathedral Treasury which means that our office is the main contact for any parish silver enquiries. I organise valuations for any new pieces of parish silver to be deposited into the Treasury and also arrange for the release of items to parishes for services, etc.
This brief summary doesn’t really do the job justice, I really enjoy my post and it gives me the opportunity to work with and meet a variety of people.
My family keep me busy but in my spare time I volunteer as a coach for our local swimming club, enjoy walking the family dog and also running.