The Messy blog
While most of the people who read the Messy Church blog will, with me, rise up in ire, wielding a pitchfork at the description of Messy Church as ‘a brand of work with children’ (yes, I share your pain), Bishop David touches on something important about the value of messiness to the way we are church together.
Despite Brexit, Messy Church is doing its best to maintain the ‘entente cordiale’!
Last month I met up with Marie Billon who is a journalist based in this country working for Reform Magazine in France and I took her along to Messy Church in north east London. She was interested to write an article about this new style of church that is taking the western world by storm, although to be fair there aren’t any Messy Churches that we know of yet in France.
Alas, despite bobbing up and down like a rare ornithological specimen, I wasn’t called upon to contribute to the debate on the ‘Setting God’s People Free’ report about lay people in the CofE. So here is what I would have said. You’ll have to imagine the riotous laughter, standing ovation, thrown roses and subsequent calls of ‘Encore!’ that would no doubt have met it.
Since the Messy Church forum held in November last year, I continue to reflect on the issues raised by centre/edge tension. This is something that we all face, to a greater or lesser extent.
Here are my musings!
We're delighted to announce that BRF has just finalised an agreement for JOP, the organisation behind Kliederkerk, to be the official 'home' for Messy Church in the Netherlands! We've known the Kliederkerk team for well over a year now and they are a total delight to work with, and great believers in cake, so we are all very happy. The work began with Martine and Jonna, whom many of you met at the Conference last year.
In the UK around 1.7m children are registered for Free School Meals. Many rely on this as their main meal, or in extreme cases only meal, of the day. When schools stop for the holidays, so does the food and children are going hungry. MakeLunch partner with churches and communities to help feed hungry children in the school holidays. Running MakeLunch in the holidays alongside Messy Church is a brilliant way of connecting with families in your community throughout the year.
'Oh no, Dave’s not available this month for Messy Church and possibly for the next two months because of the operation; Doreen’s taking a break because of pressure of work; and it looks like Karen’s cold is turning into flu, so she might not be there either. We’re going to be really pushed to have enough people to staff the activity tables and prepare the Messy meal this month. Good job we can always rely on Peter to tell the Bible story. But what if….'
Guildford Diocese has taken the trouble to write a report on Messy Church in their diocese. They've done so because the Church Army Research Unit found that Messy Church is such a significant part of their fresh expressions scene.
We are delighted that Caroline Clarke will continue to support the many Messy Churches in the Rochester region. Caroline was assisting Canon Jean Kerr, our previous RC, before her recent retirement. She will now become the Messy Church Regional Coordinator for Rochester, where she is the Diocesan Community Engagement Adviser and CreditWise Team Leader. Contact Caroline for prayer and support.
Welcome to Sandie Bradley who is your new Messy Church Regional Coordinator for the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire! Sandie loves communicating and encouraging and we are delighted that she has agreed to take on this role.