A complete joy to be back in my old stamping ground of West Yorkshire at the weekend for a Fiesta in the beautiful Cottingley Centre. It was all so new and pristine that we were relieved to see traces of paint and glitter on the tables before we got messy ourselves. Nonetheless, I dashed out and bought three copies of The Yorkshire Post to minimise damage (the paper with the most pages per pence).
Great to hear stories of up and running Messy Churches in the area, and to have a chat with Judith Wigley, an expert in the whole area of children and church. It was also good to let everyone know that one of our Regional Coordinators, Colin Blake, will be moving to Saltaire in October to run a Fresh Expression and will be happily spreading Messiness once he’s settled, becoming our West Yorkshire Coordinator.
One cautionary tale I’ll pass on was the story of a Messy leader who felt such compassion for a recently-divorced mother of four children under ten that she offered to let the mother go home and have a bath and some ‘me time’ while the children stayed at Messy Church. A kind offer. But not only did the mother simply drop off the kids the next month and vanish into the blue, but her friends started doing it too. In a very short time, there were hardly any parents staying at all: not what the leaders had in mind. Worth remembering.
Humbling to see that what excited people most wasn’t the ineffable wisdom pouring from my lips but the craft involving cornstarch packaging noodles. ‘Do they really just stick together? How amazing is that?’