Messy Church - update Aug10

Sunday, 1 August, 2010

Lucy Moore updates the story of Messy Church.

Duration: 4:52   | Download Download mp3


Interviewer: When a church in Hampshire realised they were in touch with very few children and families, they decided to do something about it and a fresh expression was born. Messy Church featured on the Fresh Expressions DVD over three years ago, and since then Messy Churches have sprung up all over the UK and overseas. I went to Waterlooville to ask founder Lucy Moore how Messy Church had developed since it first started.

Lucy Moore: Five years ago we started Messy Church because our numbers of children were dropping and we were really concerned that we had this fantastic story to share and a wonderful church community to belong to but we weren't reaching the children in our parish. So we wanted to create church for them really, as Sunday church obviously wasn't scratching where it itched. We decided that the best way to reach children was through families rather than just reaching children on their own.

[We've got a very exciting bunch of crafts this afternoon and they're all based around a wonderful person, and his name was Daniel.]

Interviewer: How long have you been coming to Messy Church?

Child's voice 1: Er, about three years.

Interviewer: And what do you like about it?

Child's voice 1: I like that we can do loads of messy stuff.

Child's voice 2: Basically we're making a lion and its den, so we stick the lion onto the piece of cardboard here and then we put it in its… we make the den and put it in the den.

Lucy Moore: I think what we've discovered on the church front, on the spiritual front, is something about the importance of encouraging faith at home. That's really come to the fore, not just from our Messy Church but from some of the others that have started up as well. You've got this immediate problem of you only meet once a month, and that's all you can cope with as a team, any more would kill us, but is that enough to create community and to help people along with their discipleship, and the answer is probably a no. But if you see church as a great fun gathering in itself which then equips people to take Christianity back into their homes, as a family, how do we help people to live out their Christian faith the rest of the month, not by coming into church more because that's not the point, but by giving them ideas for living out that faith back in the school and in an office and in their homes together.

[Male voice 1: Anybody want to help me? You want to come and help me then saying the prayer? Thank you God for all our…]

Lucy Moore: It's been really interesting seeing over the five years how the team has developed. And that's something that I hadn't really thought about beforehand, but how very unlikely people have gradually joined the team and used their gifts and talents in a way that couldn't have been foreseen. I mean if you have an 85 year old who's followed Christ all their life, they're going to be saying something just by the fact they're there to the families that come.

Female voice 1: At Messy Church you find families, worshipping God together in a way that's different from your traditional Sunday service.

Male voice 2: It's a real buzz! It's good to see all the families, and this is their church.

Male voice 3: It's suitable for any age and all the family can come together and you have the meal together and you don't have to go home and start cooking, so it's a complete after school package.

Female voice 2: I think they're getting the story in a different way. We go into the church later on and have the story and they join in and we sing, and I just think it's a different way of approaching it for children which is more child-friendly.

Lucy Moore: It's so easy to look at the DVD and to look at the books and say yes, fantastic, this is *the* way to get families into church, let's do it – and lots of people have and lots of people are doing it brilliantly. Some churches have started Messy Church as a way of reaching children, and that's good, but it's not really enough. And to have things like the all-age element really at the forefront of everybody's minds on the team, I think is really exciting and challenging and will get you further. We could be learning so much about the way to do church and what church is for, if everybody really didn't just copy Messy Church but got to grips with it for themselves.

Interviewer: Lucy Moore. And you can find out more about Messy Church and Lucy's books on the subjects by visiting their website,

This story is an update to:


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