Thanks to our Canadian Regional (ha ha - Continental perhaps) Coordinator, Sue Kalbfleisch, for passing on this link - an article written by the Ven Patricia Drummond, Archdeacon of Fredericton, about Messy Church and her analysis of why it works.
I'm starting to collect stories from rural Messy Churches, so I asked some of our regional coordinators to send me any reflections they have on specifically rural situations. You might have some to send too: why / how is Messy Church working or not working in your country setting? What factors are specific to Messy Churches in the countryside? What are the positive as well as the negative factors at work? What ideas do you have to give the Spirit an open door?
Janet Tredrea is in Cornwall and sends this story of resurrection.
Please do continue to pray for the churches in New Zealand and encourage your Messy Churches to pray too. As you know, Debbie Smith is our regional coordinator and lives in Christchurch, though she and her husband Andrew are on the point of moving to a new job in Nelson. It sounds horrendous, and I wasn't even sure Debbie would have email up and running to reply to an anxious email:
Horrendous news from Christchurch - are you and yours OK this time? I really hope so. Do let us know if you can. Much love Lucy
To my relief, she did:
The second annual gathering of Messy Church regional coordinators took place at Wycliffe Hall on 9-10 Sep with 26 enthusiastic delegates present. These included members of the BRF team and trustees as well as regional coordinators from all over the UK, and even Australia and Denmark were represented.
Gloat gloat, we have about 30 regional coordinators now! Whether you live in Shetland or in Truro, in Kent or in Cambridge, in Sheffield or in Worthing and in many other areas, we have a regional coordinator who would love to hear from you. This wonderful team of volunteers will do all in their power to reply to your queries, share your joys and sorrows, reflect on your experiences, or put on events to support you.
Jane Butcher (Regional Coordinator in the Midlands) and Chris Rees (Regional Coordinator South Yorkshire), together with our dear friend Helen Proudfoot (Children's Adviser in Derby Diocese) had a great time on Saturday. Jane writes:
'The beautiful town of Matlock in Derbyshire was the location for the first steps and next steps Messy Fiesta.
We were joined by twelve people which included one man all keen either to learn about starting a Messy Church or how to develop an existing one.
I'm on the train on my way home from my Great Northern Tour. It's been a really good couple of days, meeting with two groups of regional coordinators - what wonderful warm people they are! Do get in touch with your local one - the list of who is where can be found on the website.
What a fantastic time we had - 18-20 of us, regional coordinators and sympathetic friends - gathered together to talk 'mess' for 24 hours. It was such fun, such a luxury to be able to concentrate on some of the big issues and to glean each other's wisdom thereupon. I came away thinking how privileged we are to have such thoughtful, wise and experienced people taking an interest in Messy Church.
Veronica Priest is one of our Regional Coordinators. Here she describes a day on Messy Church that she led last month.
Messy Church leaders in Kent had a really inspiring evening together chatting about Messy Church and the problems and ways forward locally.
It wasn't a full Messy Fiesta, which takes a bit of organising, but just an easy evening in a church where they run Messy Church themselves, and coordinated by Regional Coordinator for Kent, Captain Graham Nunn.