Messy Christmas (PDF Download)

3 complete sessions and a treasure trove of craft ideas for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany

Lucy Moore, Jane Leadbetter

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Three complete Messy Church sessions for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany, together with a wealth of creative activities and crafts to extend the range of excitingly messy activities for your Messy Church. Sections include creative Christmas prayers, global action suggestions, games and competitions, Christmas food crafts and many other ideas to take you on into the New Year.

From the Introduction:

Through these three Messy Church sessions, a local church can help 21st century families own the eternal messages of Christmas for themselves so that seasonal tensions, sentimentality and material pleasures have a chance to fall into a better perspective. The three sessions are planned to run once a month on three consecutive months between November and January to encourage families to keep coming back for the next thrilling instalment and in order to have the chance to reinforce the learning and provide echoes that will deepen the worship experience over the period.

Making things together - even simply making a mess together - can be one way in which God's kingdom explodes into life in a church, a community, an individual or a family. We're not just gluing and sticking: we're reflecting the God who creates and recreates and gives us the chance to be more fully human as we mirror his actions. Just as God wasn't afraid to get his hands into the stuff of the earth, touch swaddling clothes, skin, straw, smell frankincense and myrrh, taste milk and bread, the act of making things gives people a chance to get their hands too into the stuff of the earth, to give their senses a feast, to savour what is good, to feel real things in a screen-based world. Craft time makes a space to give adults and children the chance to have time together, to enjoy being a family, to marvel at each others' skills, to help each other, and it gives a 'third place' a displacement activity around which conversations with friends as well as family can flourish. And alongside the sheer joy of learning new skills, difficult Biblical themes and stories can be explored in a non-confrontational way through drawing, splatting, building and experimenting.

We hope your Messy Church will be a huge and happy gift to your community this Christmas.

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Author info

Lucy Moore is BRF's Messy Church Team Leader, responsible for developing the work of Messy Church nationally and internationally. She also helps to lead Messy Church in her own church. Jane Leadbetter is part of the BRF Messy Church Team, has worked as a primary school teacher and was Children's Work Adviser in the Diocese of Liverpool for twelve years. She runs L19: Messy Church once a month.


Reviewed by The Church Times - 2 November 2012

Messy Christmas has three sessions for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany, and numerous craft activities. As usual, web-based resources, including work sheets and further ideas, support the books. There are more good ideas than any church might need for any one year; so choosing what fits this year and what might be saved for a future date will be important.

Because these Christmas stories are so familiar to us, however, it is easy to forget the harsh reality of life in another culture and at another time. The suggestion of a "hide-and-seek from Herod" game in Messy Christmas seems inap pro priate. We need to remember, even in our work with children, that the incarnation is not all sweetness and light, and that Herod's hide-and-seek was in fact infanticide.

Reviewed by Dana Delap

Book details

  • ISBN: DOWN0912Z
  • Published: 31 October 2012
  • Status:
  • Format: PDF Download
  • Pages: 96
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