“I urge you to make one promise today – to meet another Messy Church, and go and visit each other before Christmas. We are one Messy Community, committed to sharing ideas and walking alongside each other's journeys”.
An ecumenical gathering of more than 70 people from across Yorkshire gathered at Bradford Cathedral last weekend, for the second of three Messy Church training workshops organised by the diocese. Leading the training afternoon was Martyn Payne, from Bible Reading Fellowship (pictured right), and there was also ‘Messy Food’ to sample (an essential component of Messy Church), a giant Physical Pinterest Area, and group discussion.
(Pictured left- members of the Children, Youth and Families Team, Anne Carter, Liz Morton and Katherine Grasham).
Messy Church is a growing and thriving ministry world-wide, its ethos being an all-age church, centred around welcome, celebration and hospitality. Many Anglican churches now hold Messy Church services in addition to more normal Sunday worship. This Fresh Expression of Church aims to welcome all to experience church in a new way, particularly for those for whom ‘traditional church’ isn’t accessible, and to build new Christ-centred communities.
But speaker, Martyn Payne, in a talk peppered with illustrations, interaction and activities, told delegates to share resources and ideas and learn from one another. “Although we lead individual churches, we are one Messy Church family, committed to supporting one another and sharing our joys and our challenges.” He told the church leaders that the key was to be resilient in the face of obstacles, knowing that there is a network of other churches and teams nearby who can offer resources and share ideas.
“The boat wants to stay afloat”, Martyn told us. “There are other ways in which you can grow your team and help them to become more resilient. Think outside the box”.
The gathering was welcomed to the cathedral by Dean of Bradford, the Very Revd Jerry Lepine, while the Chair of the Methodist District commissioned the church leaders in their ministry.
The next Messy Church training workshop will be at Wakefield Cathedral in February. For further details and to receive information about this please email Charlie Scott
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