At the end of May, a small group gathered to discuss the possibility of setting up a Messy Church in our benefice. A number of other people, unable to make that particular meeting, had also expressed an interest in helping us to get this off the ground.
The good news is that enough of us are committed to this so we are launching in October, with our first Messy Church for Harvest Festival. This will be in Puddletown; however over the following months, we will visit each village in turn. The plan is that every village will host three times a year. We hope people will come to all the sessions, and not just the one in their own village. We want to build a community where everyone has a place.
So what is Messy Church? Lucy Moore, who was involved in the very first Messy Church at a church near Portsmouth describes it as: “a form of church for children and adults that involves creativity, celebration and hospitality”. It is mainly for those who do not regularly come to church already, and for all: young, older, married, single, widowed, partnered, those with a deep faith and those with faith the size of a mustard seed, to use the words of Jesus.
Messy Church is a place where questions can be asked, where nobody knows it all. It is a space for discovery, for learning from each other and from God.
There is a loosely structured format. Each service begins with a welcome and explanation of the day’s theme, some time to chat and chill, before moving into activities based on crafts, science, games and creativity. Then there is the celebration – a short time of prayer and worship celebrating God, followed by tea.
We really hope you will join us and encourage others to come. We especially hope that families who have brought children to be baptised in our churches will come and be part of Messy Church. It is, after all, one way of keeping those promises made in the baptism service to bring your child up as part of the church and learning to follow Christ.
We thought hard about days and timings. Because many of our local children already have lots of after-school activities or belong to after-school clubs, we have decided to stick with the traditional day for church: Sunday. This isn’t set in stone thought, so if another day or time suits better, do let us know.
We will meet at four o’clock in the afternoon, ending with tea, so you shouldn’t need to feed your children again afterwards.
Messy Church Calendar
Sundays at 4 p.m.
7th October Puddletown Church Harvest
4th November Dewlish Village Hall tbc
2nd December Tolpuddle Village Hall Advent/Posada
6th January Milborne Village Hall The Three Kings
And, if you are talented or just enthusiastic about God, crafts, cooking, science, music or anything else that might work well, do let me know and we’d love to have you as part of our team. Whatever age you are . . .talented teenagers would be a particular asset. Just get in touch with me or come to our planning meeting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday 19th September in Puddletown church room.
With best wishes