Messy Church

Fresh ideas for building a Christ-centred community


A totally subjective and exclusive reading of the brilliant Church Army’s recent report The Day of Small Things gives us plenty of food for thought. The report is looking at different fresh expressions of Church (fxC).

The Messy Church summary is on page 124:

Research into Messy Churches in areas of social deprivation within the UK

Research into Messy Churches in Schools in the UK


The Church Growth Research paper by Rev Dr George Lings and his team has created quite a stir in the Church of England. It explores the effect of fresh expressions in ten dioceses.

Mandy Aspland introduces The Great Big Messy Survey!

This article was featured in Get Messy! January to April 2014.

Have you ever wondered what is going through the hearts and minds of the people who come to your Messy Church? Is your Messy Church really helping people to grow in faith? Want to find out? Well, now you can, by taking part in the Great Big Messy Survey.

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).

Mandy Aspland has recently started a PhD project at York St John University, looking at evaluating Messy Church. The aim is to listen to the voices of those who run or participate in Messy Church to understand how they see its purpose and value. As part of the project, Mandy will be collecting information from a wide range of Messy Churches across the UK using observation, interviews and questionnaires. Your cooperation in this project would be gratefully appreciated because this information should help to shape any future developments of Messy Church.

Can you help Sam Hustwayte? He writes:

I am doing lay presidency for my MTh dissertation and wondered if you know of any Messy Churches that are lay led and have thought about / are doing anything about celebrating Communion and which I could approach to answer some questions for me. Contact Sam

Has your Messy Church been going on for five years or more? Could you help Claire Dalpra, a researcher at the Sheffield Centre and a good friend to Messy Church? She writes:

'Are there any Messy Churches that have going longer than five years that wouldn't mind me turning up and asking them lots of questions?

I may have mentioned this to you already but for my MA dissertation, I'm planning to look at lay, volunteer- led fresh expressions and learn from those who have made it work longer term to help other fresh expressions in the future.

Just a quick note on how the research into Messy Church is panning out. As you know, we very much want to reflect on all that's happening in Messy Church so that we practitioners and the Church as a whole learn from it, have solid cause for rejoicing, can discern helpful ways forward and generally continue to grow the kingdom in wonderful ways.