Extreme Crafts for Messy Churches

50 activity ideas for the adventurous

Pete Maidment, Barry Brand

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I am by nature a craft sceptic. Glue, glitter and sequins are not easy for a bloke with big hands to cope with. But within a few pages of the start of this book Pete and Barry had won me over with their promise of the 'extreme activities' to come. I was not disappointed. I wanted to try building the fruit catapult, walking on eggs and mixing up some Oobleck (read the book to find out what it is!). I can still recall the excitement I felt as a child when discovering invisible ink, and I'm now desperate to give it a go again. The guidance at the back of the book about planning a male-friendly Messy Church is great stuff, but, as with the rest of the book, it's not just relevant to Messy Churches. Whatever group for families you run - Messy Church, Who Let The Dads Out? or any other - I wholeheartedly recommend this book to you. It will help you make the men in your group feel welcome and energised.
Mark Chester, Founder, Who Let The Dads Out?

Content

In this book Pete Maidment and Barry Brand provide over 50 new activities for Messy Church sessions, carefully crafted to appeal to male as well as female participants at Messy Church. They challenge the assumption that Messy Church 'isn't really for men or boys' and offer approaches for Messy Churches to engage men and boys in an intentional way, providing inspiration for creating a Messy Church that men and boys will love to be part of.

'As a Messy Church trainer, I regularly have to defend Messy Church for those who pigeonhole it as a fringe activity for mums and children. I believe in Messy Church as a true expression of church, and a place where discipleship takes place. I look forward to having a resource that I can point people towards who worry about the place of men and boys at Messy Church, or who are looking for ideas on how to engage with them.'
Pete Maidment

From the introduction

We've carefully chosen activities that fit some of those harder-to-fill areas at Messy Church. Our science experiments build on people's natural desire to solve problems and understand things: they're messy and fun, but they stretch the imagination too, expecting us to think outside the box to try to see how something is done or how it works.

We've included a list of 'big stuff' - activities that call for people to work together to make something bigger than they could manage alone. Which of us didn't don a hard hat as a child and head out to build something?

Food has universal appeal, but our recipes (if you can call them that) are about creating great stuff to eat rather than using food as a craft tool.

We've also included a section on art and craft, but possibly not as you've imagined it before. Whether it's just a teeny bit dangerous, extra messy or just BIG, these ideas will, we hope, appeal to everyone - even the men!

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Endorsements

I am by nature a craft sceptic. Glue, glitter and sequins are not easy for a bloke with big hands to cope with. But within a few pages of the start of this book Pete and Barry had won me over with their promise of the 'extreme activities' to come. I was not disappointed. I wanted to try building the fruit catapult, walking on eggs and mixing up some Oobleck (read the book to find out what it is!). I can still recall the excitement I felt as a child when discovering invisible ink, and I'm now desperate to give it a go again. The guidance at the back of the book about planning a male-friendly Messy Church is great stuff, but, as with the rest of the book, it's not just relevant to Messy Churches. Whatever group for families you run - Messy Church, Who Let The Dads Out? or any other - I wholeheartedly recommend this book to you. It will help you make the men in your group feel welcome and energised.
Mark Chester, Founder, Who Let The Dads Out?

Author info

Pete Maidment is the Diocesan Youth Adviser for the Diocese of Winchester, and heads up the Messy Church Training in the Diocese. He is part of the core leadership team for the Messy Church that meets at St Wilfrid's Church in Cowplain, where he has gained a reputation for devising some of the more wacky crafts! Pete is married and has two children, who are crazy about Messy Church and see it as their home church. In his spare time Pete is a keen runner and drinks more coffee than is probably good for him. Barry Brand is the families worker at the Parish of Bitterne Church LEP, and runs one of the largest Messy Churches, which regularly gets over 100 people and on two occasions 200! Barry recently took Messy Church over to Namalemba in Uganda who are partnered with Bitterne church and is always thinking of weird and wonderful ideas for Messy crafts or the lunch. Barry is married to Adele and has two children, who also help at Messy Church either on the craft tables or in the band. Barry is also a freelance graphic designer and produces all their Messy posters and advertising. When not at church, Barry enjoys cycling, camping with friends and is a keen cook, who, much to Adele's dismay, uses far more pots than necessary.

Reviews


Diocese of Peterborough Cross Keys magazine - Summer 2015.

Extreme Crafts for Messy Churches is a book containing 50 activity ideas for Messy Churches. What makes this particular craft book interesting is each activity has a different Mess, Danger and Difficulty rating. Intrigued by the book, I took it home to try a couple of the activities with my daughter Elissa, 5 and son Joshua, 3. We tried the Toy Car Track activity: Mess Rating -2/5 -Danger Rating 3/5 Difficulty Rating 5/5. The craft is almost a game. The idea is that you have to get a small car from one side of the room to another with one push, not allowing it to travel on the floor. We used box lids to create a track and a paper towel tube for the shoot to launch the cars with enough speed to keep going to the end of the track. Unfortunately, we hadn't reckoned on the Hot Wheels toy car wanting to drive off the edges of the box lids. At this point, my husband Luke began to get involved - he couldn't help himself. The craft had us all working together to make a channel of straws that kept the cars on track. Needless to say we all loved it and it was surprisingly challenging. This task managed to keep us entertained all afternoon going into the evening. The children were completely engaged by the task and enjoyed their role as an integral part of the Setchfield Race Team. Elissa told me "I feel so happy because we have to keep practicing to get it right." They were both so proud when they managed to get their first car across the track. What I found especially good with this one activity is it fostered a real feeling of team work. Everyone worked together to come up with new ideas to solve the problems of keeping the cars on track. We were so engaged in this that we completely forgot the time. All of this came from just doing the first activity. We couldn't wait to try another. Extreme Crafts is aimed for Messy Churches but I would suggest any church or household which has children should purchase this book; it will keep you and your children entertained for hours.

Review by Karen Setchfield


From Pompey Chimes June 2015

Take it to extremes at Messy Church

Think that messy church is just for mums and small children? Think again.

Pete Maidment, who until recently helped run Messy Church at St Wilfrid's Church, Cowplain, and Barry Brand are out to show the world that Messy Church can be for dads and teenagers too, with their book Extreme Crafts for Messy Churches. Published last month, it contains 50 ideas for exciting, big messy crafts and activities, which are perfect for Messy Church.

It came about after Pete was asked by Lucy Moore, who created the concept, to help get dads and older children into Messy Church. Pete then drafted in Barry, who runs Messy Church in Bitterne, to co-author it.

'We do have a number of dads coming along to Messy Church and sometimes they do look a bit awkward, looking on in fear of glitter and beads,' Barry said. 'We also have a lot of young children and not really any teens so I've wanted to address that and his book seemed a great way to do it. To help others but to also get myself thinking of what could be done.'

All the ideas have bible passages and notes that can be combined with the activities for Sunday school or church schools. But it is also possible to use it simply as a book of ideas for fun things to do with children, outside of a church context.

'Messy Church is an opportunity to just be 'dad' and enjoy time with the family, listening to God's word in a loving environment and meeting people in the same boat as you. We hope this book will help dads be dads, ' said Barry.

Book details

  • ISBN: 9780857461629
  • Published: 22 May 2015
  • Status:
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 144
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