Messy Church

Fresh ideas for building a Christ-centred community


The Messy Church team have put together a 'Maximising the Mess' guide with some helpful advice on 'Messy Cathedrals'. The guide shows you the best way to host a Messy Cathedral, along with lots of other ideas that are worth considering!

Messy Cathedrals

While a few cathedrals are running a monthly Messy Church, some see their role as hosting a big one off annual or biannual celebratory event in the cathedral.
We asked for advice about funding and food from brave people running big one-off Messy Cathedral events in case anyone else is planning a large 'festival' Messy Cathedral gathering.

Exciting to see that Wakefield Cathedral is starting up a Messy Cathedral on quite a regular basis. The next two dates are Thursday 20 February and Monday 14 April 10-12. It'll be interesting to see how they manage the all-age value of Messy Church holding it at that time and we wish them every blessing with this new venture. We've also had news of a joint Messy Cathedral with the Methodist church in Peel on the Isle of Man (hoorah! You are  setting a high standard of ecumenical cooperation!) and a longstanding BSL Messy Cathedral at Liverpool.

Messy Church and Tidy St. Paul's aren't natural bedfellows but amazingly the afternoon of 25 January they got on far better than many of us had feared. Of course it wasn't really proper Messy Church - where was the paint, a food activity and of course the meal, to mention just a few, vital missing ingredients? But nor was it tidy St Paul's - there was noise, there were children, there were bubbles and there was excitement! And I suppose at no point was the difference between the two more acute than when it came to the celebration.

BRF's Barnabas Commissioning Editor, Sue Doggett, and her husband Chris have just moved down to Cornwall. No sooner had they arrived than they found themselves helping out at the first Cathedral Messy Church! Sue writes:

'Truro Diocese held a Messy Cathedral event on Saturday, which was very well planned and prepared by Shelley Porter, who was formerly Children's Adviser for the Diocese and has now been redefined as Diocesan Deanery Development Facilitator.

I was chatting to our Cathedral Dean the other day and we were struck by the unlikely similarities between a Cathedral ministry and Messy Church ministry. What I mean is, quite a few people go to cathedrals at a point in their life when they need 'carrying' for whatever reason, perhaps looking for a refuge from other forms of church or from the world. They can go to a cathedral service, enjoy the ambiance, the beauty, the music, the sense of being part of a worshipping community but detached from it.

A messy donkey on the way to the cathedral

Jane joined in the Messy Church at Liverpool Cathedral on Palm Sunday along with many Messy friends. She writes:

Went well today with 250 of us squeezed into the well area of the cathedral.

Season of mess and mellow stickiness... It must be the season for Messy Cathedrals. Norwich Cathedral hosted a vast Messy Cathedral last week (please see below for organiser Liz Dawes' write up) and it was a huge privilege for me to be invited to be part of the Messy Cathedral at Guildford Cathedral on Sunday.

I'll probably be contacted shortly by Childline in response to the cruelty inflicted on the three teenagers who blithely volunteered to help me on Saturday at the wonderful 'Children for a Change' event at Gloucester Cathedral. After all, when I have an early start I just get up shower and go, but if you're 14, you have to get up at least two hours before departure in order to get your make-up on and adjust your accessories. So for Judith, Anna and Hannah, it was a very long day, and when they got there I don't think they've ever worked so hard in their lives.

Let me tell you about my Saturday!