Messy Church 3

Fifteen sessions for exploring the Christian life with families

Lucy Moore

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Messy Church is a great vehicle for connecting with families who'd never go through the front door of a church.
Clynt French, Church Army, Sheffield


A new resource for Messy Churches, providing a further 15 sessions focused around key 'Christian basics' themes such as prayer and reading the Bible. There is also an introduction exploring and addressing situations that have arisen in different Messy Churches.

Each two-hour session includes:

  • Bible reference and background
  • easy-to-prepare recipes for the meal
  • ten simple theme-related craft activities
  • 'take-away' ideas
  • and a family-friendly service outline

Contents list

  • Introduction
  • Session 1 A new start
  • Session 2 Love rules
  • Session 3 Mothers and others
  • Session 4 Easter
  • Session 5 The Holy Spirit
  • Session 6 The Lord's Prayer
  • Session 7 Our community
  • Session 8 Journeys
  • Session 9 Harvest
  • Session 10 Light up the darkness
  • Session 11 Remember me
  • Session 12 Christmas
  • Session 13 Money matters
  • Session 14 Pets and peace
  • Session 15 Healthy body, healthy soul
  • Appendix
  • Index of activities
  • Bible index
  • Further resources

From the Introduction

In this book you'll find 15 sessions for Messy Church that are, in the great Messy tradition, suggestions for you to adapt and improve for your own circumstances, rather than an inflexible programme to be adhered to.

It may look more constructive to have a series that extends over several months, but in practice, most people find it hard to hold the narrative thread across a month's gap, so a series isn't necessarily very helpful and can be restrictive. Instead, we've taken the Christian year as a whole, offering one-off sessions, which nevertheless have themes that link them, as you'll see.

The sessions have a focus on the Christian year: Christmas, Easter, Pentecost and Harvest with a nod to Rogationtide and All Saints' Day. These major festivals help us to establish key points of the Christian faith: God's creation and on-going care for the world (a theme also recognised in Session 14: 'Pets and Peace'); Christ's birth, death and resurrection; and the coming of the Holy Spirit. They also give us a chance to reflect on prayer (Session 6: 'The Lord's Prayer') and on the Bible (Session 10: 'Light up the darkness', or the 'non-Hallowe'en-but-still-lots-of-fun-dressing-up-and-doing-wacky-things' session).

What is Messy Church?

It's a way of being church that is for all ages, on a day and at a time that suits families in your area. It usually involves a welcome; a time of making things on a biblical theme; a celebration on the same theme with story, song and prayer; and a meal around tables for everyone. Its values are being all-age, being Christ-centred, hospitality, creativity and celebration. It started in 2004 in the Anglican church of St Wilfrid's in Cowplain near Portsmouth in the UK, comes under the wing of BRF, the Bible Reading Fellowship, and has since spread across all the major Christian denominations and around the world to at least thirteen countries. By the end of 2011 there were over 1000 different Messy Churches listed on the Messy Church online directory. So much for the bare bones.

Visit the Messy Church website

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Messy Church is a great vehicle for connecting with families who'd never go through the front door of a church.
Clynt French, Church Army, Sheffield

The more I do Messy Church, the more I'm excited.
Karen Markusson, Lutheran Church, Denmark

Author info

Lucy Moore works for BRF as Messy Church Team Leader. She is responsible for developing the work of Messy Church nationally and internationally - writing, speaking, reflecting and developing Messy projects. She continues to help lead Messy Church in her own church, where her husband is the minister. Before working full-time with Messy Church, Lucy was a member of BRF's Barnabas children's ministry team, offering training for those wanting to bring the Bible to life for children in churches and schools across the UK, and using drama and storytelling to explore the Bible with children herself. Her books include titles in the Messy Church series, Bethlehem Carols Unplugged, The Gospels Unplugged, The Lord's Prayer Unplugged and Colourful Creation (all Barnabas) and All-Age Worship (BRF, 2010). She also presents Messy Church: the DVD. A secondary-school teacher by training, she enjoys acting, walking Minnie the dog, marvelling at the alien world of her two teenage children and watching unsuitable television. She is a Lay Canon of Portsmouth Cathedral.


From Church Times - 2 August 2013

More than 1000 messy churches are affiliated to the Messy Church network, and, over the past ten years, thousands of children and families have been introduced to God and to church in this way. The greatest strength of messy church has been the lightness of touch with which Lucy Moore and the BRF have steered Messy Church, providing a plethora of good resources without making demands about how these are used. They have responded rapidly and imaginatively to critics, and have offered helpful resources to address issues.

In Messy Church 3, Moore offers 15 new sessions for the church year, but suggests that this may be the last book in the series. Future resources will be available on the excellent website, and through a subscription magazine.

Reviewed by Revd Dana Delap is Assistant Curate of St James and St Basil, Fenham, in the diocese of Newcastle.

From Aslan Christian Books - - 10 December 2012

From one small event in a Portsmouth Church through to over 1,000 locations around the world, Messy Church is undoubtedly one of the most innovative movements to come out of the Church of England since Alpha.

The idea is that the local parish church puts on an event, probably monthly, which is an informal event geared towards families involving food, craft activities and a short service. The word 'messy' relates not only to the craft activities, but to the idea that people can come whatever their life is like - messy lives - and find a welcome.

This is the third book from Lucy Moore, the founder of Messy Church. This book takes an idea for most months, and in particular most seasons within the Church and social year - New Year, St Valentines, Easter, Harvest festivals etc. The book starts with a clever and amusing series of fictional letters to an imaginary church who have chosen to start a Messy Church, before going on to provide flexible outlines to each of the 15 suggested sessions.

Each session has a theme based on a scripture passage, a wide range of craft ideas - with a choice of budgets and complexity before moving on to ideas for the 'celebration' part of the event which will often provide suggestions for congregational involvement, prayers and a take-home idea.

In many communities Messy Church can provide the only way to gather primary-age children and their families and has proven to be an invaluable and inspiring addition to the mission of the Church. As well being a great introduction to Messy Church, the resources contained in this third book are sure to continue that.

Book details

  • ISBN: 9780857461209
  • Published: 23 November 2012
  • Status:
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 192
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