Messy Church

Fresh ideas for building a Christ-centred community

Messy Fiesta

A great day with some 50 people from the Durham area, organised by Anne Offler of the Methodist Church - a more energetic, lovable, enthusiastic and committed person it would be hard to find.

Fuelled by an excellent lunch, we explored what Messy Church is and isn't, and discussed the values behind it: hospitality, creativity, celebration. A definite warm, friendly, excited buzz about the day and with both Anne and our north-eastern Regional Coordinator Mike Gilbertson encouraging the work in that area, I'm sure God will be calling more and more Messy Churches into being.

Jane Butcher, a member of the Barnabas Team and regional coordinator for Messy Church for the Midlands, led a Messy Fiesta on the 20th June. With her mention of the teenagers who came along, I wonder what mileage there is in running a day aimed at teenage leaders?

Pete and Andy's vision for this spring/summer is to make a training tour around the Diocese. They'll do Messy Fiestas with a difference at three venues, culminating in a Messy Eucharist (like you've never experienced before!) for everyone at Romsey Abbey in July.

Sunday 7 July at Romsey Abbey, 3.00 - 5.30pm with craft/celebration/tea and cake for all ages and whole families.

Come and share in a Eucharist like no other.

Pete and Andy's vision for this spring/summer is to make a training tour around the Diocese. They'll do Messy Fiestas with a difference at three venues, culminating in a Messy Eucharist (like you've never experienced before!) for everyone at Romsey Abbey in July.

Programme

All Messy Fiestas run from 9.30 to 12.30, are free of charge, and will take this format:

9.30-10.30 training for leaders and core teams

10.30 open the doors to families and wider teams, when Pete and the core teams will lead Messy Crafts

Jane, connoisseuse of many a buffet lunch, writes:

Winsford Fiesta seemed to go really well and I loved working with Alan and Helen who had important input and messy sense of humour to make the day go along with a swing. The 'light lunch' turned out to be the biggest ham salad in the world and to die for desserts! Some email feedback so far:

Thankyou so much for our training day today at Trinty Methodist Church in Winsford. I really enjoyed it.

Keep spreading 'Messy Church as I believe it is God's will.

OK, think uninhibited welcome and hospitality: that's what I got from the people of Bangor and surroundings when I sallied forth at the weekend to lead a Fiesta there. Kevin Metcalfe of the Church Army had done a fantastic job of publicising the event and we had about 70 people present from the Church of Ireland and the Methodist Church and possibly the Presbyterian Church, but by the end of the day I was so confused about denominations and politics and not making any jokes about drink that there could have been another 15 denominations represented and I wouldn't have noticed.

I was looking forward to last night's Messy Meet-up in Southampton. Paul Woodman had signed up his Messy Church on the Directory so I'd been in touch to say hello, and as a result of that we'd agreed that a nice informal evening's chat for local Messy Church leaders would be fun. I was bowling up the M27, thinking about having a laid-back cosy time, hearing stories and experiences, sharing issues and talking about the DVD with the 20 or so folk who had signed up the last time I'd heard.

We're delighted to be welcoming Nancy Rowe, Elizabeth Northcott, Thomas Brauer and Chris Barnett to our International Forum next week in Abingdon to hear how Messy Church is developing in Canada and Australia and explore ways forward together with BRF. Please pray for us to hear what God is trying to say to us.

Here's what Sue Kalbfleisch, another Canadian Messy friend, wrote about the Messy scene in their part of Canada:

Having reread yesterday's entry I feel I should make it clear that the bishop didn't actually give me an episcopal massage herself.

Today was pretty non-stop in a good way. We drove to Quinn and Maddie's church, which is a good 40 minutes away - his parish is roughly the size of Portsmouth Diocese. The morning was a Messy Fiesta with people from Spruce Grove and further afield: I was very flattered and bemused that one couple had driven seven hours from the NW Territory to be there, and one lady had come straight from night shift to join in. There were about 18 of us.

What an eventful weekend. I'm writing this in Glasgow airport between flights, and looking out on tarmac seems most peculiar after seeing only peat, lochs and voes for the last four days. I went on Friday with lots of preconceived ideas: that Shetland would be years behind the mainland, that it would be suspicious of outsiders and that it would be just another chunk of Scotland. I was wrong.

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