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Written by Peter Johnston   
Sunday, 28 February 2010 00:48

Lucy Moore giving advice

Most of today was spent in St Silas' Episcopal Church in Glasgow for Messy Fiesta at which those of us present spent some time with Lucy Moore (pictured above, second from right, explaining techniques for a paper-based craft), who began Messy Church back in 2004 in a church in Portsmouth.

I confess for the last half hour or so of the day I was trying to think of a Scots expression for 'Messy Church' that we could use if we do something similar in the future (just to be different!). For trad church there is Fusty Kirk, and for a Scots Messy Church Jonathan Fleming suggested Midden Kirk, Carolyn came up with Mockit Kirk, there's also Slitter Kirk or Manky Kirk. Any other ideas? Add your suggestion below! [There's more...]

We learnt a lot and shared experiences during the day, which all helped to think more about what we do as a church. The particular emphasis of the folks who began Messy Church in their own church was the desire to provide a means for all-ages to come together with activities, worship and a meal on a regular basis - something for the whole family to do, and not just something for parents to drop their children off at.

The aims of Messy Church are:


  • to provide an opportunity for people of all ages to worship together
  • to help people of all ages to feel that they belong in church and to each other
  • to help people have fun and be creative together
  • to introduce Jesus through hospitality, friendship, stories and worship

I can't argue with any of those aims. I think they are excellent, and just what we need to be thinking about as part of our ongoing mission. There is a lot of similarity to what we are already doing through Juice, except that Messy Church is explicitly an all-age time, whereas Juice is more akin to a children's club. Both have their places.

If something like Messy Church was to happen in Blantyre (it would be great to be able to do this with other churches), it would not be in place of our normal worship, but would in essence become another different worshipping community. In Church of England parlance it is a 'fresh expression' of church. In the CofS we might think more along the lines of Church Without Walls. Whatever the term used, building a new worshipping community for all ages, perhaps meeting on a weekday evening or Saturday afternoon would still be a part of the church, just in a different shape.

For some that raises questions: isn't the Sunday morning congregation the main congregation? What connection would exist between them? Can you worship on a different day other than Sunday? All good questions. But they need to be balanced with the desire to find fresh ways to be a catalyst for real community living within Blantyre.

Lots to think about today, and thanks to Stewart Cutler and others for organising today's event.

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