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.

Messy Church and Christian Aid have enjoyed getting together to produce this Messy Church session based on the work of Christian Aid around the world. You could use it to explore our global Christian faith and to encourage your congregation to look outwards at the great work Christian Aid is doing with families in different countries. The session is about  global justice and action against poverty because of God’s love for all his people rather than fundraising. Enjoy!

Alison Paginton from Bristol writes: We have been running a growing Messy Church for four years now and a number of those who came as babies now have younger siblings making lunch time sometimes a tricky experience for their parents especially if one has come with the children by themselves.

In response to a request from the Messy Church leadership team for donations to buy four high chairs, members of the Sunday congregation gave enough money to buy twice as many!

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:

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.

Sound the bagpipe and splice the sporran - the first full Scottish Messy Fiesta has taken place. A gleefully ecumenical event as some 60 people threw themselves into the day in Edinburgh, just up the road from Murrayfield - rather fun to drive back through the crowds of kilts and leprechauns making their way to the match down the middle of the road.

It was a very significant day: our first meeting of the Messy Church regional coordinators. Getting twelve busy people from around the UK, as far afield as Cornwall and Preston, Weston and Maidstone is no mean achievement. To have a Canadian as well was mere icing on the cake. Meeting round a table gave us a sense of belonging to a team with a common purpose.

It is so hard to do this Messy Church thing properly! Had we but space enough and time, and no life except church, it would be far easier. But we don't seem to be able even to meet and plan the immediate session in luxurious leisure, let alone make long-term plans.