Let's get Messy
Messy Church is the new global phenomenon that has revolutionised the church’s work with families in recent years. From humble beginnings in an ordinary parish church in Portsmouth in the 1990s it has exploded to become a movement with almost 4000 churches and a monthly participation of over half a million people.
So, what exactly is ‘Messy Church’.
Well, the first thing to say is that Messy Church IS ‘Church’. It’s not an activity of the church, or even a ‘stepping stone into ‘proper’ church (i.e. on a Sunday morning). It is church in its own right – a place to meet God, experience His love, and grow as a follower of Jesus.
A typical Messy Church consists of a range of activities, crafts, games, art projects, even science experiments – all grouped around a bible theme. It is for families to experience together! This not child-care, nor is it something to keep children occupied whilst parents sit back and observe.
As well as themed activities, there is a time for celebration – with songs, stories, teaching and prayer. This is followed by a shared meal, where we sit down together – around tables – and enjoy a hot tasty meal, along with conversation and reflection.
What many churches are finding is that Messy Church scratches an itch that the typical Sunday morning church service just isn’t scratching. And, as a result, Messy Church is attracting many people who aren’t generally attracted to what we normally do in church. That’s fine – not everything is for everyone!
Another important aspect of Messy Church is that it doesn’t take place on Sunday mornings, which are increasingly a difficult time for families to attend. There are Messy Churches on Sunday afternoons, Saturdays, after school on Midweek – I even heard about a Breakfast Messy Church the other day! It’s all about doing what Jesus encourages us to do – which is to go to where people are, rather than always expecting people to fit in with us...
We have decided to start Messy Church at St Peters with a Messy Christmas, because... well... it’s Christmas, and everyone loves Christmas, don’t they? And we know that lots of families are looking for stuff to do with their kids just before Christmas, to stop them getting too hyper!
So the launch of our Messy Church will be on Monday December 23rd from 3.00-5.00 pm when we host 'Messy Christmas 2019'
The unusual day is because the church just wasn’t available on the day we will normally be having Messy Church, which will be Saturday. But we’ve already pencilled in some dates for 2020 to make sure that we can roll out Messy Church into the New Year.
We have already held an introductory meeting with Dawn Savidge, the Leeds Diocese Messy Church co-ordinator, where a good group of people met to start thinking this through. There was a great buzz from the meeting – plus we have expressions of interest and offers of help from other people who weren’t able to come.
Don’t worry – there will be plenty of opportunity for others to get involved as we get started!
So that’s a quick summary of where we are right now with Messy Church at St Peters. You’ll be hearing more in due course and, as I say, there’ll be plenty of chance to get involved as we start cranking it up.
In the meantime you can head to the Messy Church website to find out more, as well as watch the video that has been embedded into this page.
Let’s get Messy....