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I'm not a churchy person but I'm so pleased I came

The children play with coloured dough at Harvest Messy Church (Click to enlarge)

The children play with coloured dough at Harvest Messy Church

Posted on Tuesday 6 June 2017
Last October, St Marys Great and Little Abington launched their first Messy Church in the Village Institute with the help of a grant from the Local Mission Project Fund. Messy Church seemed to be an ideal way of extending the churchs involvement with families in the village, following a Mums and Tots lunch project which had been running for several years.

After months of discussion and planning, we decided to run a pilot of four seasonal Messy Church sessions and our first Harvest Messy Church took place just after we started an interregnum. We were encouraged by the enthusiasm of two mothers who organised the publicity and planning.

Debbie Hill helped enormously with her valuable experience. Our team shared their creative and culinary gifts and it was a joy to see so many people gathered for our first afternoon. We were delighted with the response from the village community and the positive, happy atmosphere was tangible.

The creative activities from making bread rolls to flower baskets were very popular but so were the quieter activities, the creative prayer corner and the music making. One mother said, "I had no idea what to expect but I have been very pleasantly surprised”.

The Christingle Messy Church moved to the newly refurbished church building and as part of this occasion, we had a short Christingle service and collected Christmas gifts for the unaccompanied refugee children. One father said, “I’m not a churchy person but I’m so pleased I came with my daughter."

The Spring Messy Church celebrated new life through friendship and on this occasion, we were able to use the outdoor space for a spring treasure hunt. Two teenagers returned because on this occasion they wanted to help organise the craft activities. The children created their own stain glass window to mirror the story of Jesus gathering the children to himself. They also enjoyed creating a plant maze and investigating the science of growth. One mother hugged me and said that she was definitely coming again.

We are looking forward to our next seasonal Messy Church which will be Mossy Church in Abington Woods on 6th August.