Great to have feedback from the newsletter musings. Thank you to Margaret for her email:
Following on from your article in the December newsletter where you say that ‘Messy Church is not there to serve families who already come to church’, I believe that we need them there as well! They need to be willing to share the welcome which we offer. If we tried to run Messy church just for those on the fringe or outside, then we could easily give the impression that church has no families involved.
When we first began 5 years ago on a Sunday afternoon, we were getting 70 and possibly one third were church families. One of those families asked if church families should stay away and my reply was that we need them there to befriend new people. It really is quite difficult to get everyone to believe that but some are really good at it and their children or grandchildren (who are very at home at church) make a real effort to play games with new children who they recognise from school.
We now have a different problem: the original families have grown up and we are having to really look at how we recruit because the last two events have only had 40 there (which would be excellent if we were just starting out but when we have seen 70 it seems a bit disappointing). Another challenge is when people ask how many new church members have come because of Messy Church!
Off now to planning meeting for February, we are still in good heart and excited about the opportunities which Messy Church gives. Thank you for you hard work and inspiration.
(Anlaby Park Methodist)