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Getting Messy in Newcastle

Posted by Lucy Moore on 12 May 2008

It was a long hot haul from Portsmouth to Newcastle for the Newcastle Messy Fiesta, but it was well worth it, with 58 people turning up to enjoy a day of discussion and... well, mess, as we dived into the crafts and somehow managed to keep the carpet clean even if our hands were covered with PVA, paint, ink and sequins. People had come from the local area of course, but also Hartlepool, Carlisle and even Arbroath. There were some fantastic stories from the groups who have already started Messy Churches of their own - stories of ecumenical partnerships being formed and of using Messy Church within a framework of other discipleship 'programmes' to make sure there is something to come from and go on to afterwards. One gentleman said, 'In our Messy Church congregation, no one goes to any other church except Messy Church.'

There were dramas inevitably - perhaps we should have done a risk assessment on using pipe cleaners in crafts (a scratched finger), or on the risks of eating pears that shook dentures to the core; and I must definitely work out the physics of bubble printing so that we don't use up half a bottle of washing up liquid per plate of bubbles, but the sun shone and the feedback forms are witness to a useful day for all. Here are some of the comments:

'Good informative day, thank you.'

'Thanks for your enthusiasm and being faithful. Good bookstall, too.'

'It's been a stimulating day. Thank you for your courage in disseminating the idea.'

'Excellent day! Good to share with others, some of who had already started 'MC' like us and others who hadn't. Thank you.'

'A fantastic and inspiring day - thanks! Can't wait to get started.'

'Come to Scotland!'