Messy Church

Fresh ideas for building a Christ-centred community


In 2016, at St Mary’s Church Grassendale L19 Messy Church in South Liverpool, I overheard a conversation between two Messy Church mothers at the kitchen hatch. One mother exclaimed to another, ‘We won’t ever be able to get our children christened because we aren’t married!’ The other mother responded with, ‘Neither will we as we can’t do Sundays!’

Standish Methodist Messy Church recently held its first Messy baptisms. Tracey Fitzsimmons, the Family Worker at Standish nr Wigan, also our new Regional Coordinator for Wigan, was delighted with how it went and the baptism family were even more delighted.

On Sunday 10th of July 2016 we celebrated our first Messy Church baptism.

Our theme was the baptism of Jesus. The families enjoyed lots of baptism related crafts and activities, including, making doves from cut outs of their hand prints and a collage of John baptising Jesus. Our cooking craft was a cup and saucer made from a biscuit, a marshmallow and some lovely sticky icing!

Alison Dare is a Salvation Army minister from Blaydon in Tyne and Wear (north-east England). Recently she sent us the following Messy baptism story that is so encouraging:

'The baptism came about with a mother asking if we could 'touch' her boys as she wanted them to belong to the church. Her partner's family (the boy's dad's family) are Roman Catholic but Clare was concerned that the children wouldn't sit still in church and that they would be made to feel awkward. She asked if they could be baptised at Messy Church because that's their Christian church!

If you're holding a Messy baptism or similar 'welcoming' service, I would be very grateful for your help to add to a book that I'm writing to resource those offering Messy baptisms.

Either a simple account of what you did, written by you, or the family's responses to the questions here would be very warmly received to make the book as grounded and helpful as possible.

Just over a year ago I visited St Nicholas Messy Church, Abbots Bromely in Staffordshire. Here in their own words is the encouraging story of what has happened since then.

Time has flown since you visited us and we have been meaning for a while to get in touch with you and let you know how our Messy Church has developed.

The Church Growth Research paper by Rev Dr George Lings and his team has created quite a stir in the Church of England. It explores the effect of fresh expressions in ten dioceses.

Alison Paginton, Regional Coordinator in the Bristol area sent us this great baptism account.

Whoop: good to start blogging again in 2014 with some good news. Not only has Trudi Oliver posted on the Messy Church Facebook page two months ago, one of our Messy Church mums gave her life to Jesus Christ. On Sunday she was baptized along with her two children! Praise the Lord!

But our friend and Regional Coordinator Alison Paginton also sent this through:

Heacham Messy Church were so proud to welcome a Christening party to our outdoor Messy Picnic at the end of August. In addition to the usual Messy Church activities, we substituted games for crafts, then all withdrew indoors for a Messy Baptism! What a wonderful addition, in every sense.