It's official: Sarah registered the 3000th Messy Church this morning. It's a real milestone. God isn't just on the move, he's on warp speed.
Back in 2011 I wrote this on a vision document
By October 2016:
Just over a year ago I visited St Nicholas Messy Church, Abbots Bromely in Staffordshire. Here in their own words is the encouraging story of what has happened since then.
Time has flown since you visited us and we have been meaning for a while to get in touch with you and let you know how our Messy Church has developed.
The two reports about church growth that came out recently are exercising my mind. Two issues come out of them which have caused many sharp intakes of breath across the Church of England. One is the discovery that multi-parish benefices, or lumping a lot of parishes together under one minister, is a significant factor in church decline and churches flourish much better when they have a leader of their own. The other issue is the fact that so many fresh expressions of church are led by lay people and indeed by lay people with little or no training.
Look at this story of growth and of God bringing new life and hope to a traditional service through the faithful ministry of the Messy Church team from Claudia Zinck-Gilroy. Happy sigh.
Just wanted to dash off a quick note.
Messy Church is growing in the tiny village of Blandford in the Parish of Blandford, Nova Scotia, Canada.
We meet twice a month on Friday night. Another village has Messy Church on the alternate Friday night. This way, some of the parents who wish to do so can attend both Messy Churches in a month.
While teaching at Birmingham Christian College over recent months, Jane Butcher and a group of students from BCC visited a local Church. Ten minutes into a tour, the guide said:
'I must tell you about this amazing event we do for families. It's called....''Messy Church''!'
She carried on by saying:
I asked God for a birthday treat yesterday as I was away from home and out of reach of my pile of presents waiting there (though to my joy, my cooked breakfast arrived with a birthday candle stuck into the sausage!)
Great to get this encouraging email from Maidenhead, and an interesting comment in it '... through simplicity [God] disciples us'...
The 'Our Church Together' event at High Street Methodist Church in Maidenhead was a real cause for celebration last month. With 100 adults and 30 children meeting to eat a turkey roast dinner and then explore the theme of prayer and promise through Messy Church, the smiles and mess ran for miles and warmed many a wintry heart.
BRF (The Bible Reading Fellowship) is delighted to announce two new appointments to the Messy Church Team.
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:
Actually 803 Messy Churches registered, with Selby Methodists in North Yorkshire claiming the proud place as our 800th. We are well chuffed to go into the autumn with 800 Messy congregations signed up. Picture all those families enjoying their local church who may never have set foot in it before: so exciting. Registrations are coming in at a rate of about one a day at the moment, with the latest group ranging from Adelaide to Spalding, and from Perth in Western Australia to Dalkeith in Scotland: keep 'em coming!