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:
'Given the observation (in The Church of England Newspaper of 11 November 2011) of Messy Church cofounder Lucy Moore that the only previous mention of Messy Church in General Synod has been in a negative context, regarding its failure to fall in line with Common Worship, has thought been given as to whether positive lessons can be learned from the rapid growth of Messy Church and its ability to help thousands of unchurched families across England find out about Jesus?'
Mr Philip Fletcher to reply as chairman of the Mission and Public Affairs Council:
'I am happy to affirm Messy Church very strongly and on the record! For the first time this year MPA has carried out a major count of fresh expressions in the Church of England. There were nearly 525 Messy Churches or close equivalents recorded. They account for over half of all fresh expressions and nearly 15000 adults and children come along to these services. The Fresh Expressions team as well as representatives from Messy Church (including Lucy Moore herself) are currently in conversation with the Liturgical Commission on the wider lessons to be learned from all fresh expressions of church.'
Feel very strongly affirmed, all you Messy Church leaders, whatever your denomination! This is good news indeed, and doubly wonderful to see the mind-boggling number of families God is drawing into church and, we hope, the Kingdom through your work. We're very grateful to the enterprising Andrew Presland of Peterborough for posting the question.