Trish Hahn, our Regional Coordinator for SEND Messy Churches sent us this blog. If you'd llike to get in touch with Trish, you can contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org
Messy Church SEND has recently won a community project award.
The project draws people from a wide catchment area around Adeyfield Free Church. The families that attend have children with a varied range of disabilities including Cerebral Palsy, Downs Syndrome, learning disabilities and those on the Autistic spectrum.
Does your Messy Church attract all ages with special needs and disabilities? Could you do with some advice? We are delighted to announce that Trish Hahn will be our Messy Church SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) Coordinator, offering support and advice to Messy Churches.
Welcome to Trish! She has 16+ years worth of working with children and teenagers, is passionate about Messy Church and working with families who have additional needs and disabilities.
The wonderful Trish Hahn is pioneering Messy Church for families whose young members have additional needs. You can see her Messy Church in Hemel Hempstead in action at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzy8k8e9y-0
If you're interested in finding out more, you can contact Trish via email@example.com
Trish Hahn writes:
I have a question related to Messy Church and Makaton. As you know our Messy Church is for kids with SEN and we are using Makaton more regularly at each session to include it during worship and story time. I am on a closed Facebook site called Additional Needs Alliance which brings together parents and youth workers within church setting to discuss ways to include those with disabilities/additional needs. So far several people have said that they think use of Makaton within worship would be beneficial to those who are limited in communication.
Saturday, 4pm, and Rev Dr Hannah Lewis and her team have prepared the Lady Chapel in Liverpool Anglican Cathedral for a first BSL Messy Church. The theme is Noah and families enjoy crafts and games, including sausage arks and rainbow cakes. The story of Noah was sung and signed and after floating arks on water everyone, enjoyed pizzas and drinks. And among all of this, cathedral tourists and visitors looked on! Hannah is planning another Messy Church soon and both Spoken English & deaf families look forward to worshipping in the Lady Chapel again.
Many Messy Churches enjoy the company of people with disabilities.
With this in mind, we asked Cristina Gangemi to describe how to make a Messy Church experience most helpful for families in which someone has a disability. Cristina produced the following piece of work full of interest, challenge and practical ideas. Some of these we can put into practice tomorrow; some of them require careful planning and some may be a step too far for teams who are already stretched. But we can all have our eyes opened to new ways of making sure that all people are welcome in our Messy Churches.