A successful new Messy Church has been set up at St Peter’s in Wrecclesham, following a grant awarded by the Diocese of Guildford as part of its Growth Fund. The Growth Fund exists to enable new initiatives in the Guildford Diocese which further the strategy of Transforming Church, Transforming Lives.
One of the major aspirations that St Peter’s Church had was to develop the families work, engagement with the community and to hopefully grow the church, both spiritually and physically. Revd Jacqueline Drake-Smith applied for a £500 Growth Fund grant to enable St Peter’s to develop its children and families work by establishing a Messy Church worship community for those who might find it harder to engage in a traditional Sunday service.
The grant application was successful and the first Wrecclesham Messy Church was held on Sunday 8 July 2018, 4-6pm with a fantastic diversity in age and at least 25 of the 50 adults and children attending having never been to St Peter’s before.
Revd Jaqueline was delighted to be awarded the full amount so quickly, but above all she valued the support saying,
“We were given not only the funding, but real support, encouragement and ongoing guidance from the Diocese as we prepared to embark on this rather daunting venture!
“At the church we developed a core team of seven amazing people – three of whom had been to the recent Messy Church Training Day - to pray, plan and develop how it would unfold in Wrecclesham. We had posters and fliers printed and a banner made for the outside of the church. We sorted out what we would do, what we would eat and also the safeguarding and health and safety requirements.
“The process of setting up and running the new Messy Church has really brought the existing church family together and developed their confidence in discipleship and evangelism.”
The theme for the first session was ‘What a wonderful world’ and activities included making bird feeders, volcanoes, and even bread roll animals to bake for tea. The participants also got creative with vegetable prints, flower arranging, construction and making a praise blanket. They talked about how God created the world, said prayers and sang songs, all before sitting down together to eat.
The feedback has been very encouraging and the church are now planning two more sessions: Messy Remembering on 28 October and Messy Christmas on 9 December. Anyone is welcome to come along and enjoy this great local-community experience. Children of all ages, families of all shapes and sizes and even those who would like to come alone are warmly invited to join the fun. www.cofewrecclesham.org.uk