The Messy blog
Welcome to Dawn Moore! Dawn is your new Messy Regional Coordinator for the Huddersfield region of West Yorkshire.
August holidays can be a good time to step back from the push and shove of routines and do a little reflecting. It’s also for many of us in Messy Church a month off without the urgency of a new session to plan, crafts and activities to prepare, a story to write, a meal to buy for. So, before these lazy days disappear, here are my messy summer reflections - some of the reasons I want to say thank you for Messy Church:
Lancashire is a big county! We welcome Rev Mary Ashton, from Euxton Parish Church, who joins Kai Bland as a Regional Coordinator in Lancashire. Mary is an associate vicar at Euxton, where her husband is vicar, and has Messy Church experience from when she was in Guildford. She is enjoying overseeing the family ministry at Euxton since arriving approximately 18 months ago.
Welcome to Sherida Chambers! Sherida is your new Regional Coordinator for Rotherham in South Yorkshire. She coordinates a Messy Church at St Francis' in Bramley and is soon to be licenced a Lay Pioneer.
There’s been some comment recently in the press and on social media about church planting. It’s been in the context of the undeniable need for the church to find ways to retell the gospel afresh in our increasingly secular, post-Christian western world. The articles have however highlighted just one particular approach in the UK to such church planting.There are of course many different models for helping to grow the Kingdom of God and one way isn’t necessarily better or worse than another.
One problem which a lot of Messy Church teams face, is how to talk about God with the families who come to their activity table. Many people simply don't feel confident to mention the G-word. I was chatting about this with a team from the south coast today and one wise person shared the insight that their team find it easier than many to chat about God-stuff, because most of them are in home groups and spend a lot of time there simply taking about God.
Church Urban Fund have written a paper on loneliness and how churches can combat this sense of isolation that so many people suffer from. It strikes me that Messy Church might be one small way churches can respond to the challenge of loneliness. In the summary, Tim Burton-Jones writes that the three main findings are:
Group based activities are better than one-to-one interventions
Lucy, Martyn and I were supporting the recent 'Follow' event, last week, with Messy activities and seminars. This Leicestershire event celebrated 150 years of the Church of England Readers. We rapidly realised that what folk wanted was a 'pop in' opportunity to chat about the Messy possibilities in their churches. So we set up an ongoing Messy Clinic so that we could listen, share and advise all day long (and engage all ages with activities on hospitality with clay, wood and marbling!). What a blessing for us!
Welcome to Katie Norman, our latest coordinator with a specialist focus. Katie is our first Messy Vintage Coordinator supporting the wonderful work among older people.
Lucy Moore shares the Messy Vintage story:
Welcome to Emma Parr who will be supporting Regional Coordinators Richard Turnbull and Kaye Lewis in NSW and ACT, Australia. Emma will be our Messy NSW and ACT Support Coordinator as more Messy Churches register with us.