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

THIRST – Youth Event in Southsea

Thirst Picture

News of a youth event on Saturday 23rd November for 14-18 year olds in the Portsmouth Area.
Spread the word – it looks like a great event! Details:

A city wide youth event for 14-18 year olds
23rd November 7-9pm
St Jude’s Church

For more information please contact Catherine:

Download a flyer here

Jesse Tree Ideas

jtreeThe idea of the Jesse Tree can have more uses than just making the symbols and hanging them on a tree:

  • Photocopy two sets of the symbols on to thin card & cut them out. Play Pelmanism (matching pairs) with younger children. As they turn over each symbol just mention who/what it represents. The winner is obviously the one who gets the most pairs!
  • Scatter a set of symbols face up. Challenge the children to put them into biblical/historical order. Time them & challenge them to improve their time. (Make sure you know the correct order!!!!)
  • Make a set of names/events to match the symbols. Scatter them with the symbols face down and play Pelmanism – matching symbol & name. Winner is the one with the most pairs.
  • Make a set of Biblical references to match the symbols. Scatter them with the symbols –play Pelmanism as above.
  • Drive your group crazy – and play Pelmanism with Symbols, Names AND Bible references! Matching 3 rather than 2!!
  • With older children – hand out the Biblical references and challenge them to design a symbol for the character/event.

And of course you can just make the symbols & hang them one by one on a tree during Advent J

This site has a good set of simple symbols for copying (with some unusual characters and a decent proportion of women) along with the Biblical References. Use the bmp format for printing rather than the gif.

And Going for Growth has links with a whole bunch of other Jesse Tree links




The Lectionary (Bible readings for the year) has a 3 year cycle – beginning on Advent Sunday. We will be in Year A, with Matthew’s Gospel being the focus on most Sundays. If you want to look at material that follows the Lectionary readings on Sundays, check these out:


If you haven’t already sorted your plans for Advent, now’s the time to do so!