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Massive Messy Church in Southam deanery

In the article below, Revd Gillian Roberts, Priest-in-Charge of The Bridges Group of Parishes, writes about organising deanery wide "Massive" Messy Church events.

As part of our Deanery Hope14 mission week, I was asked to organise a “Massive” Messy Church, drawing together all the Messy Church teams (and others) from across the deanery to put on a central, joint event. This proved so successful, that we have done it twice a year since then!

It doesn’t take too much organising. Once we have agreed a theme – Creation, Children in the Bible, the Good Samaritan, Harvest – each Messy Church team plans and resources its own activities. We call in special guests to lead the celebration such as the Pilgrim Puppets from Hunningham, the Children’s Evangelist Graham Nunn or one of our Open the Book teams. Also we have an amazing catering team who provide a wonderful picnic for us.

We generally attract around 35 families, ranging in age from grandparents to babies – so our activities are tailored to engage everyone. I love to see the dads totally absorbed with their toddlers making a “junk” tractor or the older kids building a catapult to launch maltesers! We always include a quiet space with prayer activities. And this year we introduced a cafeĢ for the adults, which has enabled the team to have some good conversations with families about faith and Jesus. Some families are now becoming “regulars” and have joined their own local Messy Church and are asking about baptism.

As well as providing opportunities for families to hear the Good News, Massive Messy Church has also brought together the Messy Church teams from across the deanery, enabling them to get to know each other, to share ideas, resources and problems, to invite potential new helpers to join the team and to build confidence. This has been a real encouragement for everyone.

At our next Massive Messy Church in March, we are hoping to work with Lucy Moore, the national Messy Church leader, to test-run her new resources on Messy Science – looking at how faith and science mix.

Please pray for us!