All posts by Ben Mizen

I am the Youth and Children’s Work Adviser for the Diocese of Portsmouth. I cover all work with children and young people aged 0-18+ and work across Portsmouth, Havant, Gosport, Fareham, The Isle of Wight, Petersfield and Bishops Waltham. You can contact me at the diocesan offices on 02392 899652 and

Poverty of Voice – Children’s Society

36Jim Davis (who is the Children’s Society’s Good Childhood Conversation Guru) reflects on the story of the loaves & fishes- and ponders the absence of children & young people’s voices in our churches. With questions for discussion/thought and prayers to use in worship:

Jim will be with us at Conference on Tuesday evening.

Supporting Christian Teachers in Schools – Portsmouth Area

Tuesday 30th April
Pompey Study Centre, Anson Road, Portsmouth
6.00pm – 7.00pm

For a number of years now I have had a desire to bring local Christians in schools together. I believe God has given me this desire and that now is the time to take a step of faith and organise such a meeting to reaffirm your calling into the profession. I have seen first hand what God can do when Christians come together in a workplace and culture ( PFC and football ) and have a heart to see God’s chosen ambassadors at the centre of our schools.

I want to encourage you that God is passionate about you and those whom you work with. On Tuesday 30th April at the Study Centre myself, Linvoy and others will be sharing something of the story of our mission to our workplace ( Portsmouth FC ) to see if we can bring you, as those whom God has placed in our schools, together for the sake of His Kingdom.

Ours is simply a story of putting our faith in a living, unchanging God believing that He wants to work through His people wherever He places them however inadequate they may feel for such a task
There is no agenda for the meeting, no preaching nor any plans for the future but a sense that we want to help in any way we can to stir up God’s people so that He can direct our future steps. I believe this will always start with united prayer.

As you know Faith & Football work at many schools across the City and already serve in many capacities with various educational programmes. We want to join with you at this significant time of change in education (you are more aware of it than me ) to make sure God’s people are encouraged and equipped to bring His influence and purposes into their respective workplaces.
I really would like you to come and meet other Christians in our City who work in the same culture as you and therefore have an understanding of the prevailing needs in schools.

Finally if you know of any other Christians who work in schools either with you or elsewhere please make them aware of this opportunity.

Mick Mellows

Please RSVP to this – email here (So I need to know how many cups of tea to provide! )

Messy Church in the home

messy church logoFaith needs to be lived throughout the week – not just on Sundays or in church. Most of the week children are not in church – they are in homes with their families. But families find it hard to live and model what it means to be Christian. One small rural community is experimenting with adapting the Messy Church principles to use in the home with two or three families gathered together. Read how they are getting on.

Household of Faith


John Westerhoff is speaking at the  Household of Faith Conference later this summer! He will be delivering 6 keynote lectures, alongside a fantastic line up of other speakers. Booking is now open and it promises to be a conference you won’t want to miss.
Venue: Sussex University
Dates: 17 – 19 July 2014

Multi-Age Lent

beth-e1368768566213Beth Barnett passionately believes that households need to open the Bible together and learn together. To help them do so, she develops creative activities which work across a range of ages. Here’s her fantastic resource for Lent – parts of which could easily find their way into inter-generational worship!

(HT Mary Hawes)

Vulnerability, children and the image of God


David Chronic works with some of the poorest children in Romania. In these two blogs, he reflects on what the vulnerability of children tells us about the image of God.

Lent 2014

…in these forty days you lead us into the desert of repentance that through a pilgrimage of prayer and discipline we may grow in grace and learn to be your people once again.
Through fasting, prayer and acts of service you bring us back to your generous heart. Through study of your holy word you open our eyes to your presence in the world and free our hands to welcome others into the radiant splendour of your love.

These words from the Holy Communion service in Lent call us back to the basics of our faith – prayer, study, service – and remind us of the call to welcome others into God’s loving presence. May the children and young people in your church and community see and hear that loving call of God in your ministry this Lent.

(HT Mary Hawes)

Equals – enjoying gender equality in all areas of life


Jenny Baker’s new book Equals enjoying gender equality in all areas of life which is being published by SPCK on 20 March 2014

In the UK, where only a fifth of MPs are female, where women are paid less than men and one in four will experience violence from their partner, where men comprise the vast majority of the prison population and boys are under-performing at school, the biblical vision of the full equality of women and men is needed now more than ever.  The book explores what equality is and what it isnt, and how we can enable both men and women to flourish. Its full of practical ideas for how equality can be lived out at home, in marriage and parenting, at work and in church with plenty of stories of what people have done to put equality into practice.

Jenny is doing a series on her blog over the next couple of weeks with stories of people being intentional about equality. She’s also on twitter – @runningjenbaker – where she’ll be tweeting about the book.

15 ideas for worship without a band

engageSam Hargreaves from Engage Worship offers some excellent creative suggestions for worship without a band.

Almost all of these ideas could be done both individually and with a group.  In most cases the only items you will need are a Bible and perhaps a paper and pen, although some suggest using a computer or smartphone.  These are intentionally diverse in style – start with one that you feel comfortable with, but you might also want to challenge yourself to do one out of your comfort zone! [continue reading here]