About Messy Church

Messy Church

  • is a way of being church for families involving experiences and fun
  • is found across the world
  • values are about being Christ-centred, for all ages, based on creativity, hospitality and celebration

Our Values: Our values

Messy Church values are:

Christ-centred Messy Church is a church, not a craft group, that helps people encounter Jesus.
All-age It is for adults and children to enjoy together – every element should be relevant and accessible to all ages.
Creativity It uses hands-on experiences to explore Bible stories and themes, to reflect a God of creativity and to give people a chance to play and wonder together.
Hospitality* It reflects a God of unconditional love and is a church for people outside church, providing an oasis of welcome and a safe space in which to thrive. Messy Church is about hospitality, expressed most evidently by eating together
Celebration It reflects a God of joy who wants his people to have life in all its fullness!

Why start a Messy Church?

Some Good reasons:

  • We want to make disciples.
  • The people in our area who don’t belong to church would like coming to a Messy Church.
  • We want to share the love of God in Jesus in a way that’s as accessible as possible to families.
  • We believe that the best way for people of all ages to come closer to God is by journeying together.
  • We want to share Jesus more than we want to share our particular denominational traditions.
  • We want to model who Jesus is to those around us.
  • We believe God is in Messy Church and we want to follow where God leads.
  • We think Jesus is the person to give people in our community life in all its fullness.
  • And many more…

Some not so Good reasons:

  • It’s the latest thing so it must be good.
  • The church up the road is running a Messy Church so we need to or we’ll get left out.
  • The minister says we need one.
  • We need younger people in our church to do the jobs we used to do when we were young.
  • We want to revamp our Sunday congregation.
  • We want to get together for a nice sociable time with knitting and painting.
  • It sounds fun.
  • We’re bored with sermons and want to change.

The story so far

The first Messy Church began in 2004 when a group at St Wilfrid’s near Portsmouth UK were frustrated because, as a church, they were hardly reaching any children with God’s story.

They felt they had lovely buildings and facilities but weren’t using them enough. They had creative people in the church, and the area needed as much community-building as possible, being a rather featureless suburb.

There was a lot of sympathy towards church in general but the church wasn’t offering anything that really gripped the imagination of local families.

They decided very early on to try to do something for all ages together, partly out of a belief that we grow best as a church when we walk the journey with as many different people as possible, and partly from a desire to help families to grow together in their walk of faith, and not see Christianity as something you grow out of when you’re 11.

How it spread

One of the original team members was Lucy Moore. As she was working for a Christian Book publisher BRF. Messy Church is now a core ministry of BRF. In Australia it was launched officially in 2011 when Lucy Moore visited Sydney. Messy Church has spread across denominations and states and countries, with Messy Churches now happening almost everywhere!

Can I use the logo?

The Messy Church name and logo are registered trade marks of BRF in the UK.

Messy Church is a church, not a craft club, that helps people encounter Jesus as Lord and Saviour.

Messy Church values are about being Christ-centred, for all ages, based on creativity, hospitality and celebration.

If your Messy Church subscribes to these values we are very happy for you to use our Messy Church name and logo, so long as this is within certain parameters. We understand that ideas need to be contextualised for your local church/situation and this may therefore involve adapting certain elements of Messy Church. However we want to ensure that the core values of Messy Church are maintained by churches using the name and/or logo. We would therefore ask that before you call something ‘Messy Church’, you ensure that you’re clear what Messy Church is and that using the name is appropriate in your context.