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Last night at Messy Church

Posted by Lucy Moore on 23 Oct 2009

We changed a few things last night at our October Messy Church: we decided at Messy Tea that the opening half hour was becoming a little stale and limp, so we had just a handful of games out and turned the focus on to one big, easy activity for everyone to come and join in with as they arrived. We also had a more organised welcome table and only one entrance, so everybody was greeted by name or, if we didn't know them, by a friendly face. Both of these gave a lot of energy to the start time. We also asked the team to come and chat more, rather than setting up their crafts in that time.

We also put out a help sheet, inviting anyone to sign up for a job just for this week, from taking the photos to running the computer, to washing up and clearing up. It gave several people the chance to serve who wouldn't have put themselves forward on their own.

One of the teenage boys arrived and said, 'Shall I help you with your craft?' and worked non-stop all through the hour: I couldn't have managed without him.

We had the theme of blessing each other (As for me and my house, we bless each other), which was a pain to plan - a very sticky slow planning meeting! - but turned out to be a really rich theme. Some lovely crafts - eggshells of paint showering down on card pictures like showers of blessings (oh, so messy); bird feeders to bless the world we live in (so much lard in so many children's hair); a simple prayer activity dropping hearts in water; and soap-making from the kit provided by Infinite Crafts. All the crafts went down well, and I have to say I really enjoyed the soap-making, as both adults and children loved doing it, it was just the right length of time (about ten minutes per person) and was very satisfying - lots of wonder! It cost us £20 for the kit hire and the materials used, which is fine for a once-in-a-while treat.

One family had come because they enjoyed the harvest assembly in the local school that our vicar had done. They had been meaning to come for ages, ever since we sent out fliers (which I thought no one had taken any notice of) and the assembly gave them the impetus to come. The son sat with the vicar during the meal and, when asked if he'd enjoyed it, said 'It's the best thing I've ever been to.'

One of our floating helpers said that people had sought her out to speak to - serious conversations about important things: this has taken two years of patient work on her part.

We did a breakdown of stats from last night. For what it's worth, here are the results:

Numbers overall: 79

43% from our Sunday church (34 people of which 22 are team members and 12 aren't team members, though this is increasingly blurred)

17% from other churches

40% only come to Messy Church

Adults: 40

Children: 39 of which:

Preschool age group: 9

Primary age group: 15

Secondary age group: 14

27 males overall

52 females overall

3 grandmothers

6 dads