The Messy blog
Calling all Messy Churches in Devon! Devon is a large county and we have ninety Messy Churches waiting for prayer and support!
We have divided the region into three areas: North Devon, Exeter and East Devon, South Devon. It is hoped that we can develop a team of volunteer Regional Coordinators in each area to offer support to the many Messy Churches.
God is continuing to grow this all-age ministry and we are hearing such wonderful stories of how God is touching the lives of so many families.
Welcome to Nicola Slater, our new Messy Forces Coordinator! Nicola is a forces wife based at RAF Lossiemouth in Moray, Scotland, where she coordinates a Messy Church each month.
Messy patterns of family life, on forces bases, means regularity of events and groups are more difficult, but Nicola believes Messy Church fits in well. There are around fifty RAF stations in the UK and many more army barracks and Naval bases.
Welcome to Kerstin Oderhem our new Regional Coordinator in South Sweden.
Kerstin is a Regional Director in the Swedish Evangelical Mission. Kerstin joins the new Swedish RC team along with Marianne (North Sweden); Tin (Mid Sweden) and Olle (West coast of Sweden and National Contact Person).
We are delighted with how Messy Church is growing in Sweden and ask you to pray for the new RC team and their plans for training and supporting the Swedish Messy Church network.
Welcome to Dawn Moore! Dawn is your new Messy Regional Coordinator for the Huddersfield region of West Yorkshire.
August holidays can be a good time to step back from the push and shove of routines and do a little reflecting. It’s also for many of us in Messy Church a month off without the urgency of a new session to plan, crafts and activities to prepare, a story to write, a meal to buy for. So, before these lazy days disappear, here are my messy summer reflections - some of the reasons I want to say thank you for Messy Church:
Lancashire is a big county! We welcome Rev Mary Ashton, from Euxton Parish Church, who joins Kai Bland as a Regional Coordinator in Lancashire. Mary is an associate vicar at Euxton, where her husband is vicar, and has Messy Church experience from when she was in Guildford. She is enjoying overseeing the family ministry at Euxton since arriving approximately 18 months ago.
Welcome to Sherida Chambers! Sherida is your new Regional Coordinator for Rotherham in South Yorkshire. She coordinates a Messy Church at St Francis' in Bramley and is soon to be licenced a Lay Pioneer.
There’s been some comment recently in the press and on social media about church planting. It’s been in the context of the undeniable need for the church to find ways to retell the gospel afresh in our increasingly secular, post-Christian western world. The articles have however highlighted just one particular approach in the UK to such church planting.There are of course many different models for helping to grow the Kingdom of God and one way isn’t necessarily better or worse than another.
One problem which a lot of Messy Church teams face, is how to talk about God with the families who come to their activity table. Many people simply don't feel confident to mention the G-word. I was chatting about this with a team from the south coast today and one wise person shared the insight that their team find it easier than many to chat about God-stuff, because most of them are in home groups and spend a lot of time there simply taking about God.
Church Urban Fund have written a paper on loneliness and how churches can combat this sense of isolation that so many people suffer from. It strikes me that Messy Church might be one small way churches can respond to the challenge of loneliness. In the summary, Tim Burton-Jones writes that the three main findings are:
Group based activities are better than one-to-one interventions