The Chaplaincy Week at Benenden
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 gather at 5:45pm for a Whole School Service. This is an opportunity to worship in a variety of different styles as well as welcoming external speakers.
During the term, there is a service every Sunday evening. Occasionally, it is a whole-School gathering, or a Service for a year group, during which any student is welcome to attend. At all other times during the term, we offer Voluntary Services, some of which are Eucharists. There is a whole-School Eucharist celebrated at least once a term, with the offer of House Eucharists during the term as well. We are also offering once a year an opportunity for parents, staff and students to attend a House Eucharist.
There are regular services held in our beautiful Chapel (services of the Word and Eucharists), which are open to anyone. We also hold special services throughout the year, for example for Ash Weds and a Service of Remembering.
Attending local Churches
We offer both Roman Catholic and Protestant students an opportunity to go to church on a Sunday. We require notification by a student by Thursdays to enable us to make arrangements required.
Roman Catholic Mass is either on a Sunday at 9.00am at Benenden Church or 11.00am at Cranbrook. The time and church offered varies to give students opportunities to be involved with the Weekend Programme.
Students are also invited to go to St Mary’s Goudhurst for the Sunday 10.45am service. Revd Tracey is part of this church and is involved with the enabling some students to volunteer at the Sunday School. Other students are very welcome to come along to the service with her.
On different occasions we also visit other churches, such as St George’s Benenden for the Remembrance Service, as well as Hillsong, Tonbridge among others. The Chaplaincy Team are very open to hearing the views of the students and facilitating worship where we can.
‘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.
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. Preparation for Roman Catholic Confirmation, (in line with the Diocese' practice), takes place every two years. We hope for another Roman Catholic Preparation Confirmation Service in 2023.
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.