Bishops' Public Affairs Team

The Internship

This internship involves working in the public affairs team of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. The intern will undertake a range of public affairs and policy and parliamentary work including meeting MPs or civil servants, producing parliamentary briefings and keeping the Bishops informed about relevant political developments.

On behalf of the Bishops, the Public Affairs Team engages with the UK government and parliament about a wide range of important policy issues, including criminal justice, migrants and refugees, and human rights.

It will suit a candidate with a keen interest in current affairs. The aim is to provide experience relevant to someone who wishes to work in either public affairs or Parliament in the future.

 

I believe it's important that young Catholics engage with political structures and promote social action. By working in the realm of human rights, I feel my role is hugely rewarding as I can put my faith into action.

Natalia Siemens

Natalia Siemens

As a member of the public affairs team, we work on key human rights issues on behalf of the Bishops. The main topics I have been working on are: protecting the rights of migrants and refugees; advancing prison reform; justice and peace in the holy land; and protecting the rights of EU citizens.

My role is two-sided: I communicate the views of the Church to parliament and society, and I also brief members of the Church on key political developments affecting our work. The work of a public affairs officer is diverse and involves: research around the Church’s policy areas, communicating between the Church and outside organisations, attending events in parliament and with other key organisations and charities, and keeping up to date with current affairs through political monitoring and informing members of the Church through meetings and creating briefing documents.

Being a Public Affairs Officer for the Bishops’ Conference has shown me the ways in which faith can influence society and politics. As we are fortunate to live in a democracy where Catholics can practice their beliefs, I believe it’s important that young Catholics engage with political structures and promote social action. By working in the realm of human rights, I feel my role’s hugely rewarding as I can put my faith into action.

The highlight so far has been attending a ‘round table’ discussion on prison and sentencing reform with Labour MPs in Parliament. The Labour Shadow Secretary of State Richard Burgon attended, and it was so rewarding to have an opportunity to bring Catholic voices directly to Parliament. I also have had the chance to attend a discussion on the ‘EU Settlement Scheme’ at Europe House’ alongside other events surrounding the 2019 General Election.