Messy Church

Fresh ideas for building a Christ-centred community


Helpful ways to finance a Messy Church: 

  • Borrow craft supplies and basic equipment from other people for the first few sessions: Brownie cupboards, playgroups and so on. Invest in your own when you are sure that your Messy Church will be long term.

As I write, it’s the day after the Haring Round Hampshire weekend. What on earth was that, you ask? I had the idea to visit the 103 registered Messy Churches in mainland Hampshire in one weekend. The impetus was to do it as a sponsored event to raise funds for BRF’s Messy Ministry, but it also seemed a great opportunity to pray for them all in situ, like a really long prayer walk.

If you're short of funds, why not pop round to your local supermarket and see if they'll include your Messy Church on their local community funding scheme? Your Messy Church might go and help pack bags wearing team T-shirts, as Jane's team in Liverpool did in their local Asda - it turned out to be a huge witness and started growing great relationships with the store and with the customers as well as earning money.

An email came recently, describing first a phenomenal amount of publicity put into a Messy Church, then saying:

'So far, we have not brought in any money through the event and have been covering the cost from church funds, but we know we can't continue to do this for long. Do you have experience of Messy Churches going from this position to bringing in funds, and if so, what's the best way to do this?'

A query has come in that highlights the relationship between the establishd body of the church and the emerging Messy Church:

We are charged for the costs of the hall in which we hold Messy Church each month. The hall belongs to the church but is a separate building. As an outreach of church I personally think we shouldn't be charged. Especially as we have to get by on donations. What are others' views on this ?

My - as usual - inadequate answer:

Looking for funding for something specific and practical? Might be worth googling your 'local councillor grant' scheme. A Messy Church in Liverpool was given £1000: £800 to get much needed built-in cupboards; £100 for craft materials and £100 for special-needs play equipment. Just a thought...

Graham Miles has been musing from his position as church leader on the relationship of Sunday and Messy Church, and communications, perceptions, finances and differences of style between the two. Graham writes:

There are many pictures of the Holy Spirit, but I've never seen one of him bouncing about like a puppy, gleefully springing around to get people to play with him. But that's what it feels like on the Messy scene in Liverpool. There is so much going on and it's so vibrant and full of life! The latest event was a Messy Forum for Messy Church leaders, organised by Jane Leadbetter, the regional coordinator for Liverpool and Liverpool Diocesan Children's Adviser, and David Bell, the Diocesan Children's Adviser for Chester Diocese.

Back on 28 November 2007 I wrote about applying for money from the Diocese to do some pioneer work on discipleship with Messy Church families.

We've been granted it!

This is very wonderful and completely terrifying. No excuse now to put off doing anything about developments, so the whole area of 'But it might not work / it could all go horribly wrong / what if no-one wants to do it? / we might FAIL' suddenly rears its ugly head like a mythological monster.

Things move on so fast! Suddenly we have new possibilities opening up for building our Messy Community.

The deanery has funds, made available by the loss of a vicar in one of the parishes, and the money can go to a Kairos project - in brief, something outreach-y, like Messy Church.

I suddenly realized this money was up for grabs but that any project needed PCC approval and Deanery Synod approval. PCC meets every eight weeks and Deanery Synod every quarter or so, and it just so happened that PCC was the next day and Deanery Synod was in three days' time.