Messy Church

Fresh ideas for building a Christ-centred community


I’ve got stuck into a lot of different craft activities on my many visits to Messy Churches – sometimes literally so! And I’ve seen so many creative ideas to help those who come along and explore the Bible story in a hands-on way.  The best Messy Churches have a balanced variety that tap into the different learning styles each of us have.  Here’s a creative checklist that might help you to review your range of crafts and activities each month:

Aim to include as many from this list as your space allows:

A short introduction

Lots of Messy Churches use email to keep members up to date. The aim of this resource is to help churches know a bit about the legal landscape so that any emails you send to members jump through all the legal loopholes.

Many churches take part in a festival, fete or fair at which Messy Church features in some way. Examples might be the Big Church Day Out, the Royal Norfolk Show or one of the Fusion Festivals. Other opportunities to look out for might be events like farmers' markets, car boot sales, craft fairs, patronal festivals or other annual events. Running Messy Church at an open event like one of these is great fun and hugely rewarding but very different from holding it on a regular basis and it's worth bearing the differences in mind.

What a wonderful 'problem' to have: 'We've got too many people coming to church!'

We've put together a list of things that would be good to think through if you're leading a larger Messy Church. Many of these ideas may also help people running smaller Messy Churches on a skeleton team or simply make you think, 'Oooh, that's a good idea!'

One Messy Church conducted some research to find out the best time for a new Messy Church to start.

You can see the results of the research (PDF), and you can download the interview sheet for yourself to modify (Word document).

by Lucy Moore and Jane Leadbetter

A beginner's guide for churches.

Buy now

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We've put together a helpful form that you can use for families to register at your Messy Church. You may want to use this as a template.

The form includes space for attendees at your Messy Church to give:

  • Their name, dietary needs and date of birth
  • Their address, postcode, email, telephone and mobile numbers
  • Consent for photos to be taken

In addition they can say whether they are interested in:

This handy grid will hopefully help you to plan your next session for Messy Church.

Irene Kennedy wrote us a blow-by-blow account of her experience of leading Messy Church.

Another email made me stop and think about how we encourage Messy Church teams to put on the very best they can for God and for the people they serve. See how you react to it, especially if you read it in conjunction with Thomas's comments from Canada (blog on 6 Jan)

Having visited a worship session recently which was described to me as 'Messy Church', but which seemed to be a case of using the label as an excuse not to think things through or plan properly, I think that there is need to 'go back to basics'!