You may have heard people talking about Messy Church. What is it? It is a version of church which involves children and at least one accompanying adult. It began in April 2004 in an Anglican church near Portsmouth. A typical session includes arts and crafts, worship celebration and food.
The aims are:
To provide an opportunity for all ages to worship together
To help people of all ages to feel that they belong in church and to each other
To help people have fun in a church context and to be creative together
To introduce Jesus through hospitality, friendship, stories and worship.
There are books and a website www.messychurch.org.uk to provide help and inspiration for Messy Church themes and resources.
At St John’s, we began in October 2011. We aim to do it once every two months. Three teams of helpers supervise the three different activities and another team is responsible for welcoming and administration. This involves about 30 people. So far we have had about 20 children each time with a carer, parent or grandparent. John advertises Messy Church when he takes assemblies in local schools and church members bring children too.
There is a lively friendly atmosphere. The children and families are welcomed and taken into the hall. This usually has about 6 different art and craft activities. The children are free to choose which ones they do. We have just had a Messy Church with an eco theme. This lasts about an hour and then they go into the church. Here they might show some of the craft they have made, sing worship songs and dance. After this we go back into the hall for a meal together.
At the end, everyone, families and helpers, generally feel it has been a good time of sharing Christian friendship. You are very welcome to come to Messy Church with a child.
Our next Messy Church is to be arranged.
For pictures of all the activities go to our Photo Album.
For further information please phone Rev Ruth Ridge Tel: 0744 709 1182