The Messy blog
A blog by Revd Erica Roberts, City Chaplain for Older People at Highfield Church.
Welcome to Laura Graham-Brown, who is your new Messy Church Regional Coordinator for South-West Hertfordshire. What an encouragement this is when we have been appealing for so long in this particular region! Laura is brimming with enthusiasm and is keen to support the registered Messy Churches in the south-west of this region, which includes Hemel Hempstead, St Albans and Watford.
Welcome Deacon Melanie Beaven, new Regional Coordinator for Carlisle & North, Cumbria! Melanie is the first of hopefully a team of Regional Coordinators across Messy Cumbria, supporting Syl Hunt (RC Cumbria). Melanie supports two Messy Churches, works ecumenically, is about to start another Messy Church and is passionate about creating Messy gatherings for those families more isolated in rural areas.
During my most recent Messy visits, I have found my attention drawn to something that can often be pivotal to the success or failure of running a good Messy Church. It may sound trivial when I tell you what that is, but in my experience it holds the key to solving some of the challenges we face in the activities, at the celebration or over the meal. The truth is that so many of those problems boil down to a question of... the furniture! Yes, furniture! Let me try and explain…
Welcome Rhian Bridgens, Messy Church Regional Coordinator for Swansea, Neath & Port Talbot, Carmarthenshire in South Wales. Rhian is coordinator of Waterfront Community Church Messy Church, Swansea.
Welcome to Ruth Attwood, your new Messy Church Regional Coordinator for Derby and South. Ruth is keen to communicate with all the Messy Churches registered in this region of Derbyshire to offer prayer support, communicate all things Messy and encourage them in their Messy mission!
Ruth is Coordinator at St Wystan's Messy Church in Repton. She says:
Welcome to Rachel Brown your new Regional Coordinator for the Shetland Islands and Orkney.
Rachel works for the Salvation Army in Lerwick as the Community Development Worker. Rachel's association with Messy Church began in Kirkwall, Orkney, where she began a Messy Tots. She has introduced a similar group to Lerwick and helps out at neighbouring Messy Churches.
I wonder what’s going through the minds of your Messy Church team just before everyone arrives?! There will of course be the inevitable last minute panic about resources or food, and whether the craft will work. There’s bound to be the usual nervousness around whether anyone will turn up this this month. And you will probably also have some first-timers on the team who need reassurance that this really is going to be fun! But digging a bit deeper, what else might be in the mind of your trusted and faithful team?
While most of the people who read the Messy Church blog will, with me, rise up in ire, wielding a pitchfork at the description of Messy Church as ‘a brand of work with children’ (yes, I share your pain), Bishop David touches on something important about the value of messiness to the way we are church together.
Despite Brexit, Messy Church is doing its best to maintain the ‘entente cordiale’!
Last month I met up with Marie Billon who is a journalist based in this country working for Reform Magazine in France and I took her along to Messy Church in north east London. She was interested to write an article about this new style of church that is taking the western world by storm, although to be fair there aren’t any Messy Churches that we know of yet in France.