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Messy Cumbria excitement

Posted by Jane Leadbetter on 23 Nov 2016

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I joined the Diocese of Carlisle and Methodists in Cumbria and Lancashire recently. I met wonderful missional Messy Church leaders, teams and enquirers at a training day and launch. Bishop Rob Freeman, Bishop of Penrith, launched the Messy Cumbria initiative which invites Messy Churches to become core members of Messy Cumbria, irrespective of what denomination they are. The Diocese of Carlisle has taken over five years to plan its way forward as an ecumenical county. Anglican, Methodist and United Reformed denominations have already signed a Declaration of Covenant Partnership and, this month, the Salvation Army joins them in partnership. This strengthening of Christian mission means that Cumbria is the first ecumenical county in England.

As Messy Church has been embraced by so many denominations, it is no surprise that the ecumenical excitement has taken off already. There is a Messy Cumbria mascot—Marvin the sheep—plus a new role of a Youth, Children & Families Evangelism Enabler who is visiting and supporting Messy Churches, encouraging more to start up and planning Messy Cumbria dates to gather teams together.

I took Sheila the sheep to meet with Marvin and I heard about the difficulties of mission in rural Cumbria. We discussed our highs and lows in Messy Church and gave each other permission to be bold and risky and try new things. We listened to the Archbishop of Canterbury and reminded ourselves of his message to 'go on pushing out the boundaries, being flexible, being imaginative, being in a circle of love that joins people with Christ at the centre'.

Read about the exciting plans in Cumbria. Contact Sarah Hulme if you are interested in becoming a Core member of Messy Cumbria.  

Contact Syl Hunt, our Messy Church Regional Coordinator for Cumbria, if you would like help to start up a Messy Church.