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First Foreign Fiesta and Finances

Posted by Lucy Moore on 14 Mar 2009

Sound the bagpipe and splice the sporran - the first full Scottish Messy Fiesta has taken place. A gleefully ecumenical event as some 60 people threw themselves into the day in Edinburgh, just up the road from Murrayfield - rather fun to drive back through the crowds of kilts and leprechauns making their way to the match down the middle of the road.

One deeply felt financial question came up: if the Sunday congregation are paying for the Messy Church to happen on a weekday but never see anyone coming to Sunday church, why should they pay for it to happen? Answers on a postcard please... but if that's one you're puzzled about too, it might be worth thinking about some of the following: Messy Church is still church, even if it's on another day, so the church is being filled, although not necessarily at 10.30 on a Sunday; it's also mission and mission needs support from established church; Messy Church will give back to established church, probably not financially but in encouragement, purpose, opportunity to serve and refreshment; and if our motivation is simply to fill up our churches for our own satisfaction, could that not be seen as rather selfish?

I expect it is possible to run a Messy Church financially independent of an established church, but how sad to have to waste time demanding money from a congregation that hasn't yet had time for God to teach them about the joy of giving and deprive Christians, who have had time to learn it, of the grace of giving to something so locally valuable.