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

Google Knows…

This small article by Conrad Gempf is worth a look… especially if you’ve been using the internet for a while…


ivsLwRWAn article and infographic by Tom Gara goes into frightening detail about what Google knows about us.

every single webpage you have visited in the last five years… everything you have ever searched for, every address you looked up on GoogleMaps, every email you sent, every chat message, every YouTube video you watched.

If Google knows that much, just imagine what Facebook knows! Apparently, they’re stocking away 600 terabytes of information about people every single day.

And here’s an article by Matt Petronzio about a woman who tried to conceal her pregnancy from Google and Facebook and what’s now being called “Big Data”.

Vertesi said we need to be more aware of the information we give our servers voluntarily, and wondered if a time will ever come when we can opt out of giving personal information to the Internet. Winter Mason, fellow panelist and data scientist at Facebook, said that he doesn’t think that’s possible anymore.

Can you help? – Cafe Leadership Christian Youthwork Research Project

cafe_leadership_logo_400_344_80If the average lifespan of a Christian Youthworker is 18 months, or even 3 – 6 years; then Christian Youthwork has a retention problem! Without the ability to retain our outstanding Youthworkers, Young People lose transformative relationships and the sector as a whole loses wisdom, experience, momentum and the ability to have a lasting impact.

Cafe Leadership wants to get at the heart of what outstanding leadership and management needs to look like in the C21st for Christian Youthworkers. We want to know whether leadership/management is one of the contributing factors to the perceived retention problem; and to find out what we can do about it if it is! What if there are some key leadership/management practices that if implemented, would double or triple retention rates – imagine the difference that would make to the Young People in the UK.

That’s why in 2014 Cafe Leadership is conducting this research project on the impact that current leadership models and structures are having on the delivery of Christian Youthwork.  Go here to take the survey and find out more.

Love and Sex Matters

New PictureA pioneering new resource: Relationships and Sex Education in a context of Christian values.

  • An important, realistic resource to help children and young adults navigate the complex context of modern relationships and sexuality
  • Written in the light of the MacDonald Review and The Children’s Society’s A Good Childhood Report
  • Useful for schools engaged in the spiritual, emotional and moral development of pupils.
  • Engaging activity-based lessons with guiding questions for discussion
  • Materials written in consultation with teachers and tested with classes
  • Separate and complementary resource packs written for all four Key Stages
  • Featured on the national CofE website: click here

Find out more here.

5 Questions to ask your Youth Group about… Media

Another inspiring conversation starter from Wincandy. This time it’s about media…

5-questions-mediaAsking young people questions – getting conversation started, is at the heart of youth ministry. In this series of 5 Questions to ask your Youth Group we will provide conversation starting questions for you to explore with your youth group.


  1. What do you think Jesus’ favourite TV show would be ?

  2. How would you describe your church in 140 characters or less?

  3. List together all of the different forms of media that you interact with – are there any you could do without? Is there one which you would keep above all others?

  4. People often say that you shouldn’t trust anything you read in the papers – why do you think that is?

  5. Should the way we interact with media be different because we are Christians? If so, how?

Bereavement resources for young people

logoSeeSaw, an organisation which offers grief support to young people in Oxfordshire has some very useful bereavement resources including:

There are also other useful links on the bereavement page on Going for Growth web resource