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Research post started

Posted by Lucy Moore on 03 Oct 2012

Mandy Aspland has recently started a PhD project at York St John University, looking at evaluating Messy Church. The aim is to listen to the voices of those who run or participate in Messy Church to understand how they see its purpose and value. As part of the project, Mandy will be collecting information from a wide range of Messy Churches across the UK using observation, interviews and questionnaires. Your cooperation in this project would be gratefully appreciated because this information should help to shape any future developments of Messy Church. So organisers, please watch out for an email landing in your inbox asking for help sometime in the next twelve months or so!

If you would like to get in touch, Mandy can be contacted by email or telephone 07847539407.

Mandy Aspland
Postgraduate Researcher, Theology and Religious Studies, York St John University.

Project title: 'An Evaluation of the "Messy Church" movement in terms of its missiology and ecclesiology'

I have a long-standing interest in the way that churches work with children and young people. For the last ten years I have worked with the charitable trust 'Hand to Mouth Ministries' as a puppeteer and story-teller. This involves leading collective worship and conducting RE lessons in primary schools across West Yorkshire. In 2007 I began studying theology as part of my training to be a Lay Reader in the Church of England. I was authorised as a Reader in 2010 and I completed my foundation degree in Theology and Ministry at York St John University in 2011. I have noted with interest the growth in the Fresh Expressions movement and Messy Church particularly as I have been involved in developing a multigenerational service in the parish where I live. This research project allows me to bring together my previous academic career (as a part-time researcher and university lecturer) and my recent theological training, and apply them to a subject that is currently of great interest and importance to the Church. I hope to continue doing ministry in churches and schools on a part-time basis, so I expect the next few years will be busy and exciting. I am grateful for the support of my family (husband Steve and two children, Bethan and Callum), and the financial support of the St Christopher’s Educational Trust and York St John University, and I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting Messy in the next few months!