What can I expect?

The Messy Church Conference is a place to enjoy simply being together, learning from and with each age group and nationality.

You’ll experience a joyful, inspiring, relaxing and fun weekend in a beautiful setting, that will make a difference to you on your own journey with Jesus and to the way you run your Messy Church.

What’s this year’s theme?

The Messy Church Conference 2022 is all about Making a Difference! We’ll be discovering how Messy Churches focused on the kingdom of heaven can make a creative difference to our planet, to our local communities, to our churches, as well as to us ourselves!

Who is it for?

Your weekend has been planned by leaders aged 13 and up, from around the globe for all Messy Church leaders and teams, anywhere in the world** – from 8 years old* to 108!

*Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult.
** Main language English; some workshops led in other languages with interpreters.

What about if…

I'm not actually involved in a Messy Church?

No problem! If you just want to find out more about Messy Church, or you’re considering it for your church, you’re very welcome to join us! You’re sure to have a warm welcome and make new friends who can tell you about their experiences.

…I’m on my own?

Don’t worry! You’ll be among people who look after each other and who will be interested in you and your Messy Church, if you have one. You’ll not be on your own for long, unless you want to be.

…I bring our whole Messy Church team?

Fantastic! What better way to forge strong friendships across your team and be able to put new ideas into practice when you go back to your Messy Church again!

…I’ve never been to a conference before?

The Messy Church Conference is the perfect start! You’ll be warmly welcomed and once you’re there, everything is on-site and easy to find your way around, so you can just relax and enjoy yourself.

…I need some time to myself?

That’s okay. Everyone is welcome to go to everything on offer or just one or two activities: it’s completely up to you. If you just need some time on your own with God, there are award-winning gardens and 100 acre grounds for you to unwind in.

What’s on offer?

You’ll have a wide variety of activities to join in with (as much or as little as you like) including:

  • top-quality teaching from one of the UK’s leading theologians, the author and speaker Dr Paula Gooder
  • three practical workshop sessions to learn from other Messy Church practitioners around the world
  • two Messy Church sessions to enjoy hands-on learning in the company of like-minded people
  • plenty of time to make space for God in reflection
  • celebration with iSingPop and Andy Flanagan
  • time to enjoy the company of old and new Messy friends of all ages, from the UK and around the world.
  • a stunning grounds and gardens to enjoy and chill out in.

What’s the programme?

We’re still putting the final touches to the itinerary, but your weekend will look something like this:


Friday 20 MayAnd we’re off!
Travel safely to The Hayes Conference Centre in Derbyshire
Arrive from 12:00

Lunch at 13:00

Gather together

Hear a talk

Take part in a workshop
18:30 Dinner

Experience a Messy Church session (without having to lead it!)
Saturday 22 MayBreakfast from 8.00 am

Hear a talk

Join a discussion group

Morning workshop
Lunch 13:00

Afternoon workshop

Give your spiritual life a boost – choose from a variety of creative, reflective activities

16:00 Tea and cake
18:00 drinks reception hosted by BRF trustees

18:30 Dinner

20:00 Enjoy international snacks, stories and singing around fire pits at the International Messtivities
Sunday 22 MayHear a talk

Join a discussion group

Morning workshop

Experience a Messy Church session
13:00 lunch

Pack up, say goodbyes and head for home, fired up with new ideas, new plans and new friendships!

16:00 venue closes

Where is it?

The venue

The Hayes is a Christian conference centre in Derbyshire (more or less in the middle of England). Find out about getting there, including lift-sharing.

You’ll have

  • a choice of clean and comfy en-suite bedrooms*
  • beautiful grounds with space for walks and games
  • a clubhouse
  • a play area
  • free gym
  • delicious meals included in the cost**
  • Fairtrade coffee, tea breaks and cake

Site map

Covid measures

*Accessible rooms available and good accessibility throughout the venue.

*/** Please let us know on your booking form if you’d like to discuss particular needs, so we can help you enjoy your stay.

Getting there

The Hayes conference centre is easy to reach by road, rail and bus.

Plan your journey


To reduce the impact on the environment, and to keep costs low, you’ll be able to look for a car-share through our online Messy Carpool on Facebook.

How much does it cost?

For two nights’ accommodation including all meals and activities, tickets cost:

Adults - £335

Under 16s - £240

Can I get financial help?

At present we’re not able to offer bursaries, however your church, your diocese (or similar) or your denomination might be willing to contribute towards your conference fee and travel costs. Remind them that training is an important part of lay and ordained ministry, including developing young leaders, and that funding could help more team members to attend.

Download funding letter template

Is it refundable if we have another wave of Covid?

Refunds may be available under certain circumstances – see BRF’s events cancellation policy.