Chaplaincy  at Benenden

Benenden has an Anglican tradition and the key Christian principle of loving our neighbour is at the heart of our shared life. Whilst maintaining its Christian roots, the Chaplaincy is fully inclusive and welcoming of people from all faiths and none. We actively encourage an open, honest and friendly dialogue, where all views are respected in a spirit of generous hospitality and mutual learning.

A Ministry
of Presence

First and foremost, the Chaplaincy offers a ministry of presence. The Chaplain and their team seek to be alongside students and staff, to celebrate with them in times of joy and to comfort and uphold them in times of difficulty.

The Chaplaincy also helps to remind us that we are human beings, not human doings, and that our value is not bound up with our academic successes or struggles, but that we are precious simply because we exist. It is also important to simply be; the world is a busy place and taking time out to nurture the soul is really important.

The School

Our beautiful School Chapel, built in 1956 and dedicated by Archbishop Fisher, lies at the heart of the School.

Refurbished in 2008, it is a very calm and uplifting
place. The main features include a newly commissioned font, made by Canterbury Pottery, a stunning walnut Altar bearing the Latin inscription Ubi caritas et amor, meaning love and charity and the extraordinary window designed by Leonie Seliger of the Canterbury Cathedral Stained Glass Studio; it bears the words Be strong and of good courage, the Lord your God is with you, taken from the School reading from the Book of Joshua. Following the refurbishment, the School Chapel was rededicated by the Bishop of Dover.

The School Chapel is used for some Sunday Services, midweek Services, Confirmation Classes, Bible Studies and much more! As importantly, the School Chapel is always open for pupils, staff and parents to find a quiet place away from the hubbub of daily life. The Chaplain is always on hand to be a listening ear.

The Chaplaincy Week 

Prayers and Whole School Services

The whole School gathers two times a week (Monday and Tuesday) at 8:30am for Prayers. Each day, a different speaker from our community delivers an address on the weekly theme and we often offer a prayer and sing a hymn.  We cover a wide range of material including current affairs, world faiths and School events. On a Thursday we have Form order. On a Friday we either gather in the morning for a Whole School Service or at 5.45pm. Meeting on a Friday evening gives us an opportunity to worship in a variety of different styles as well as welcoming external speakers. 

Chaplaincy Groups  


‘Bread’ meets at 7.00pm on Fridays during term, and is Benenden’s main forum for exploring the Christian faith. The meeting is open to all students, whatever year they are in and of all faiths and none.  Following a short talk, there is time for discussion and questions. The group plays games and there are always yummy snacks available. 

Bible Study

We meet weekly on a Wednesday at 8.30am, with pastries and fruit juice, exploring different parts of Scripture following a termly programme. This opportunity enables deeper discipleship for those who choose it.   


Girls are usually in the Fifth Form when they are confirmed, although girls may choose to be confirmed at any age. Preparation for Anglican Confirmation takes place during the Spring Term on Monday evenings and over the course of one weekend. The Chaplain leads the preparation classes and is ably assisted by other members of staff. The Anglican confirmation takes place during the Summer Term every other year. Preparation for Roman Catholic Confirmation, (in line with the Diocese’ practice), takes place every two years. This is ably led by our two Roman Catholic Lay assistants, supported by our Chaplains. 

Parents’ Prayer Meetings 

Parents are warmly invited to join the Chaplain once a term to have a cuppa and pray for the School.  

BenSen Prayer Meetings 

Seniors’ of Benenden School, both students and staff members meet twice a half term to pray for the needs of the School and for each other. This is often on Zoom, but also in person after the BenSen Advent Service or during the Benenden Seniors Day. 

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