First Year of Messy Church

Working together to make a heart-shaped basket

Messy Church at Christ Church started in February 2014. Our first year has been a time of enjoyment, learning, growing and, yes, being messy. We had a lot of questions when we started: here are some of the answers.

What happens at Messy Church?

Making a scratch art bookmark

Making a scratch art bookmark

Each session is based around a theme which explores a particular aspect of the Christian story and how it relates to our lives.

Creativity is a God-given gift in itself and a large part of each session is taken up with crafts which are intended to appeal to different ages, abilities and interests.

Later on we move to a time of celebration which may include songs, stories, drama and prayer… and then it’s time to eat together.

Making a scroll with a big question written on it

Asking the big questions: Was God around when the dinosaurs existed?

Coating a biscuit with icing and toppings

It’s amazing how much decoration can be crammed on top of one biscuit

A balloon model of a swan

Celebrating God’s creation through balloon modelling

Making a bird feeder

Caring for creation: Making a bird feeder

A model fish in a jar

Wonders of creation: Magnetism allows the fish to “float”

Drilling a piece of wood

God loves our world: and we want our model of it to be firmly attached to the wooden base

A model lighthouse

Jesus the light of the world: the lighthouse lights up, naturally

Serving up the meal

Each session ends with a meal

Cakes and biscuits

Thank you to everyone who donates cakes and biscuits

Some of the things made at Messy Church

Everyone takes home what they have made

The Messy Church logo

Find out more about Messy Church on our Messy Church page

Who comes to Messy Church?

All sorts of families! Some have no other connection with church at all. Some are involved in groups such as Toddler Club, Scouts and Guides, and others join in activities at other churches (including Messy Church!). We include members of Christ Church, friends of members, friends of friends. We are of different nationalities, backgrounds and ages, all enjoying being together.

Multicoloured hand prints

We can all make our mark at Messy Church

Messy Church is currently led by Ellen Dann and Megan Gibbins. They are supported by a large team of helpers who supervise the craft activities, provide the meals, operate the PA system and projector, clear up afterwards and contribute in many different ways to making Messy Church happen. As with everything we do at Christ Church, all our leaders and helpers follow our child protection procedures.

Ellen joins in an activity

Ellen is one of the leaders of Messy Church

Megan Gibbins speaking in the celebration time

Megan joined the Messy Church team in the autumn

The meal team hard at work in the kitchen

We’re grateful to all the helpers who provide such wonderful meals

Why do we do Messy Church?

We love being messy in Christ Church! We’ve been using paint, glue, dough, icing and glitter for as long as anyone can remember. We also love helping to build relationships: within families, between generations, between Christ Church and the wider community, between each person and Jesus. Put all that together and you’ve got Messy Church.

We made slime to represent pigswill

Life turned messy for the Prodigal Son, as represented by our slimy “pigswill”: but his father still loved him and welcomed him home

Making footprints with paint

Sometimes we get our feet messy too

Life is messy

Things don’t work out as we expect, we get hurt, people let us down, we mess things up ourselves. In our crafts we put ordinary things together to make something special. In our celebration we meet with a God who makes things new. Through being together we can share our stories in good times and bad.

Different generations

Friends, neighbours, family: it’s good to be together

Where does Messy Church happen?

We never cease to be grateful for our modern well-equipped building which provides us with two large halls to host the different activities that make up Messy Church. We held a session outdoors during the summer, and keep on experimenting and learning.

Launching a paper rocket

An outdoor session allowed us to perform high-powered rocket launches

When is Messy Church?

Starting the sessions at 4.00 on Saturday afternoons gives families plenty of time to enjoy other activities during the day. We finish with a meal, and by 6.00 many of the children have used up their remaining energy and are ready to go home and to bed.

Holding Messy Church monthly – on the second Saturday of each month – makes it a regular event but also allows each one to be a bit special.

Waiting patiently for a meal

Every session ends with a meal: a great way to end the day