Blend was started in 2018 in Goudhurst and is now offered as a gift to the diocese as a model for outreach and discipleship amongst 11-14 year olds.
The development of Blend started because of the large amount of contact the Church had with children in the primary school and the recognition that as they moved to secondary school some of those friendship groups changed and they went off to many different schools, however each day they returned to the village by bus.
At its heart was a Church wanting to reach out to those around them and the after school slot seemed the perfect way to do so.
Blend has at its core 5 values:
- Relationships are everything
- Whole Church engagement
- Whole community focus
- Taking time
- God at the centre
The session has no specific ‘God slot’, but by putting the emphasis on relationships, volunteers are encouraged to talk about their faith normally and offer prayer where appropriate.
Blend also marks major events in the Christian Calendar and those who attend blend are invited to be part of worship.
Since its development at Goudhurst we have developed 2 further plants in Sandhurst at Sittingbourne, and others are in the pipeline.
For more information about the project please contact Ben Hatfield, Diocesan CHYPs Advisor, who will happily talk you through Blend and help you work out if it is the right project for your Church to get involved in.
In Summer 2019 the Blend ‘How to’ guide was produced and you can download a copy here.