Messy Vintage

Messy Vintage is a missional offshoot of Messy Church, which began in a Methodist Church in Jersey. It is a movement that takes Messy Church values and good practice to older people.

Like Messy Church, Messy Vintage is Christ-centred, creative, full of celebration and hospitality, and open to all.

Messy Vintage is now being developed by BRF's The Gift of Years team, who promote best practice in the spiritual care of older people.

Case Study

Find out what happened when one Messy Church tried out the Messy Vintage formula, in Derbyshire, England.

August 2017

In August, we trialled an inter-generational version of Messy Church (Vintage Messy Church). This was an attempt to build on the grandparent relationships we already have in the fellowship.

It was also to help reduce social isolation in the elderly during the quieter month of August and for that reason it was held at the same time as our Tuesday Fellowship would have usually been. It also provided a free activity for families looking to entertain their children during the school holidays.

This event worked well and was enjoyed by approximately 40 people, some who come to other faith based activities at church but also a good amount of people who don't. The Scout leaders and two of their young leaders provided craft activities; this demonstrated particularly good improvement in their sense of belonging to the whole fellowship that the church is looking for. They were the last to leave and commented on how good the afternoon had been. There were several families from a variety of advertising sources. There was good attendance from church members, and Tuesday fellowship regulars and lots of helpful input from the Messy Church and coffee shop teams and the Tuesday Fellowship leader.

The theme 'Hope on Life's Journey' provided a good talking point that everyone could relate to. The elderly were able to contribute their experience and teach us an old Sunday school song, and seeing the children put many a happy smile on their faces. There has been lots of positive feedback from all concerned so another Vintage Messy Church will be held on Tuesday October 24th.  A report and advert has gone to the circuit magazine, Ilkeston Life and the Ilkeston Advertiser newspapers.

There are several well attended Messy Churches in the town and it was felt that Vintage Messy Church provided a unique option that may attract other people. Another option that may suit our town centre setting well, would be to take a Messy Church style interactive faith activity out onto Bath Street or the market place on a Saturday morning or to put our energies into providing prayer spaces at local schools.

October 2017

Last week saw about 35 people attending this time. We used sample session 2, made the mirrors and also made cardboard Dame Edna style glasses with 'Open my eyes to see wonderful things in your word.' on the handles. Scouts came and led us in 'Kim's game' and another game where one person on a chair and blindfolded, has to listen out for people coming to steal a bunch of keys under the chair.

I found a funny drama around Mark 8 online. Two of our older members and one of the team performed it and were thoroughly hilarious! Some older members taught the children the song 'I have seen the golden sunshine' and we repeated Great Big God from last time. This time though the older ones who had been at the front to teach their song chose to stay with me and do the actions for Great Big God.

To be honest, the content hasn't really changed that much from our previous Messy Churches but the tweaks we've made out of the Vintage approach seems to have changed the ownership the church feels over Messy Church enormously. Before Vintage, numbers were consistently low. Now we're seeing more church people coming along and feeling confident to bring unchurched family members. Other people from other activities we run like coffee shop and the fellowship group for older people have attended which we hadn’t seen before.

We are moving our regular Messy Church into the local school to see how that works and we will run Vintage at church again in February half term.

So it’s all good news here :-)

Thank you to you all for providing this new initiative that we can tap into and benefit from so much.