It was a very exciting day on Saturday – over a hundred people gathered in Hale to find out more about Messy Church and share ideas. You can imagine the buzz created by so many people with such a heart for God and for people not yet part of a church. As there were several churches there who had already begun Messy Church, they happily gave impromptu reports on their joys and problems, which meant that we had a wider range of speakers and a wider range of experience and situations, from a once-a-season model to a once-a- week model : ‘In our area, parents don’t have diaries, so if it wasn’t once a week, they would forget it was on.’ The messy craft time was somewhat chaotic, but then, when isn’t Messy Church chaotic? The Barnabas books were devoured from the bookstall and there were plenty of intense conversations going on. We hope to find a way to make available, to the people who want to be included, some sort of regional network which might be a model to follow in different parts of the country.
As ever, the feedback forms were really useful in planning future Fiestas, including comments about everything from the need for a microphone with that sort of number to the structure of the day.
Here are a few of the more general comments:
‘I have found today to be very informative and enjoyable. We are about to start a Messy Church so this has been very useful.’
‘A good chance to think through some of the challenges we face in running Messy Church and to hear how other people tackle similar problems.’
‘Although exciting to see so many, maybe numbers need to be restricted to allow timings and questions to be heard and discussed.’
‘Fantastic atmosphere today.’
‘Really helped to clarify details and how we might shape Messy Church for our church.’