3000 Messy Churches

It's official: Sarah registered the 3000th Messy Church this morning. It's a real milestone. God isn't just on the move, he's on warp speed. Back in 2011 I wrote this on a vision document By October 2016:

A year in the life of one Messy Church

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.

Musing on growing churches

The two reports about church growth that came out recently are exercising my mind. Two issues come out of them which have caused many sharp intakes of breath across the Church of England. One is the discovery that multi-parish benefices, or lumping a lot of parishes together under one minister, is a significant factor in church decline and churches flourish much better when they have a leader of their own. The other issue is the fact that so many fresh expressions of church are led by lay people and indeed by lay people with little or no training.

Messy Grandma of Twenty

Look at this story of growth and of God bringing new life and hope to a traditional service through the faithful ministry of the Messy Church team from Claudia Zinck-Gilroy. Happy sigh. Hello there Just wanted to dash off a quick note. Messy Church is growing in the tiny village of Blandford in the Parish of Blandford, Nova Scotia, Canada. We meet twice a month on Friday night. Another village has Messy Church on the alternate Friday night. This way, some of the parents who wish to do so can attend both Messy Churches in a month.

Birthday Treat

I asked God for a birthday treat yesterday as I was away from home and out of reach of my pile of presents waiting there (though to my joy, my cooked breakfast arrived with a birthday candle stuck into the sausage!)

Messy Team grows!

BRF (The Bible Reading Fellowship) is delighted to announce two new appointments to the Messy Church Team.

General Synod

I had a happy time with Richard, my boss, at the BRF stand at the Church of England's General Synod last week. (I was disappointed not to be given a Women Bishop's tea towel but did come away with Book of Common Prayer mints, so the day was not in vain.) We caught up with several friends, who were kind enough to stop by the stand, made new acquaintances and were really chuffed to see a Messy Church question had been posted and answered:

800 Messy Churches registered

Actually 803 Messy Churches registered, with Selby Methodists in North Yorkshire claiming the proud place as our 800th. We are well chuffed to go into the autumn with 800 Messy congregations signed up. Picture all those families enjoying their local church who may never have set foot in it before: so exciting. Registrations are coming in at a rate of about one a day at the moment, with the latest group ranging from Adelaide to Spalding, and from Perth in Western Australia to Dalkeith in Scotland: keep 'em coming!

Numbers again

High numbers are neither here nor there, but they are encouraging, not just to Emma and her (obviously wonderful) team but to all of us who can share in the rejoicing. An email recently from Emma, who wrote:

International Forum report

Yes, I have been onlineally silent for a week or so, but in real life haven't stopped talking for the last week as it was our long-awaited International Forum at the BRF office in Abingdon. It was of course great fun and a huge privilege to spend time with four dynamic people from Canada and Australia and to discover those little things that add colour to a previously email-only relationship, an Aussie addiction to CocoPops being but one.

Are you the 500th?

We now have 489 Messy Churches on the Directory! This is phenomenal, even to those of us, who, like me, are innumerate and find it hard to picture so many ('If all the Messy Churches were together in one room, they would be as messy as....') It could be you! Sign up now! If you've been procrastinating, don't delay!

Three hundred

Martin, the unsung hero in the BRF office who deals with all the parts of the websites that are shrouded in mystery for me (basically, all of 'em), informed me this month that we now have 302 Messy Churches registered on the Directory. 302! That's a lot of families enjoying themselves in church.

Denmark gets Mess!

Just back from a joyful weekend with Danes from all over Denmark - from up in the north where two seas meet, to Copenhagen in the east, over to the island of Bornholm right out in the Baltic Sea. Nearly 150 church and children's leaders had trekked over land and sea to hear about Messy Church at the launch of the Danish translation Messy Church - for hele familien.

Round Table

What a fantastic time we had - 18-20 of us, regional coordinators and sympathetic friends - gathered together to talk 'mess' for 24 hours. It was such fun, such a luxury to be able to concentrate on some of the big issues and to glean each other's wisdom thereupon. I came away thinking how privileged we are to have such thoughtful, wise and experienced people taking an interest in Messy Church.