Messy Church

Fresh ideas for building a Christ-centred community


Someone wrote in recently and asked if there was any particular justification for doing Messy Church in the standard order, and why not start with the Celebration? Here’s what I said, in case it’s helpful. You may have other thoughts to add.

Check out the new range of Messy Church greetings cards at CPO (Christian Publishing and Outreach) including birthday, thank you, personalised and blank options.

Here's another thought about another element of our Messy Church character: joy!

Great to hear from Rev Carol Meredith at St Stephens Episcopal Church, Aurora, Colorado. Since July 2014 they have been joining up with their Latino neighbours for Messy Church and at Christmas they all explored Mexican Christmas traditions together. 

First, 150 all ages celebrated Our Lady of Guadalupe, making rosaries, paper flowers and Christmas ornaments to decorate a special Altar to Our Lady. They had Mexican dancers and food.

Many Messy Churches have discovered how good songs from Fischy Music can be. 

Stephen Fischbacher and his team work in schools in Scotland and many of us use his songs, such as Welcome Everybody and May you find peace in our messy celebrations.

Make the most of your Messy Church celebration time. Messy Church celebration plays a key part in communicating God's love to the families who come along, but it can be the hardest part of the session to get right.

We recently did an Easter Family Journey when we invited both the Messy Church and main Church families to journey together through the events of the Easter week. I guess we should have called it 'Messy Stations of the Cross' as it was based on 4 zones - Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday - with an explanation and 2 craft activities per zone. We started in church with hot cross buns and refreshments and then in (strict!) 10 minute-apart groups, we walked into a Palm Sunday drama and then followed around the zones.

Celebration is the name we've given to the most traditional worship part of Messy Church - the 15 minutes of story, song, prayer and whatever else we bring into the gathered worship of the whole session. It's also a broader term for marking with joy or sorrow a significant event, for making that event count in our community's life.

Celebration can be engaging, fun, joyful: where people's perception of church is that it is boring, we need to show them that the church worships a God who is totally engaging.

Messy Month is a chance to celebrate and share all the Messy news and information with your other church congregations, inviting them to be part of the Messy ministry in prayerful, practical and financial ways, and to thank God for all he's doing through our Messy Churches.