Messy Church

Fresh ideas for building a Christ-centred community


Round 7: 'Maximising the Mess' - Liturgy and Messy Church

The Messy Church team have put together a 'Maximising the Mess' guide with really helpful advice on Liturgy and Messy ChurchHere are ways of exploring and growing liturgy that make sense in a Messy setting.

I was interviewed this afternoon by Radio 4. The topic: what's the point of The Prayer Book? The question: does Messy Church use The Prayer Book and does it have a liturgy? It's hard to judge how well the interview went – it all was over in 10 minutes! – and anyway they may not even use my contribution, but it did get me thinking.

Just had an enquiry about Holy Communion 'although most of the team are for it, one or two are against it: what would you say to them?' I thought it might be worth popping down the answer I've just sent.

To those who don’t agree with HC in MC, I would suggest that they think about what they believe the Eucharist is really all about and what they think Messy Church really is.

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.

Sue Taylor sent us the following liturgy that they are using for Communion. Her introduction:

We were delighted to hear from our Messy Church 'branch' in New Zealand. Revd Jo Latham has been a friend since her trip to GB last year. Interesting that Anglican liturgical issues are the same the world over....

'Hi Lucy - excited to see the Messy Church website up and running and reading all the news. We have been doing Families@4 for one year in May (must have a party theme). Last month we had 50 people there with a real sense of connectedness beginning to take shape among families.

Philip North from London sent a very moving and generous email this week:

I thought I might tell you a story.

I was amongst the group you spoke to when you visited the Liturgical Commission earlier this year, and in particular I was one of those asking predictable Anglo-Catholic questions about being a Eucharistic community, what is the Church etc. However I was very struck both by the strength of the Messy Church model and by Angela Tilby's contribution to the conversation when she said, stop worrying and just celebrate all you are achieving.

I was really chuffed to be invited to have a conversation with the Church of England Liturgical Commission about liturgy in Messy Church. As you know, we have interesting issues around the prescribed wording in the Anglican Church for use in services like Holy Communion, Baptism or Confirmation at Messy Churches. The conversation was a really useful and positive one, with a great amount of appreciation of what Messy Church is doing and the way it's doing it.

In the last e-news we asked if anyone was doing anything interesting with liturgy. Karen Gardiner emailed from Elstree:

I'm responding to a note in the Messy Church newsletter asking if anyone had any experience working with Anglican liturgy and Messy Church together, and I thought you may be interested what we have been doing.

For the past school year, every week during term time, we have a Messy Mass after school on a Wednesday...