A blog by Revd Erica Roberts, City Chaplain for Older People at Highfield Church.
As part of a new venture with Messy Church, we took our toddler group (the Ark) into a local care home for an Easter celebration. The toddlers led us through a simple dramatised version of the Easter story, with donkeys, masks and palm leaves that both children and residents could wave, along with some simple choruses sung by the children. Clearly entranced, one of the residents whispered to me, ‘I remember a song I sung in Sunday school.’ We gave some space for her to share it and, before long, residents, children and carers were singing along together – and a few tears were shed! Although maybe not politically correct nowadays, the words were pertinent:
Jesus died for all the childrenAll the children of the worldWhether yellow black or whiteThey are precious in his sightJesus died for all the children of the world.
We finished by making donkey masks together, handing out palm crosses and sharing a feast of biscuits and Easter chocolate! After the success of our third sailing of the Ark into a local care home, we’re planning to make this a regular feature in our calendar, with a new focus and branding. Moving out of the care Homes and into the community, a new enthusiastic and creative team stepped out into new territory to explore Messy Vintage.
The team was clear that avoiding the word ‘Messy’ would be helpful for the older and more vulnerable in the community. Hence the launch of Vintage Adventure, hosted by Highfield Church, with a team of 15 and almost 20 guests. We were encouraged with not only members of the local church attending, but guests who were invited from other community gatherings such as Tea Club and Crafty Coffee. Our prayer is that we might build a new community around hospitality that can explore the gospel story in a creative and safe environment. On this occasion, we began with hot cross buns, finished with soup, engaged with the Easter story at six different stations, making a cross from nails and wire, writing hopes and dreams on leaves and receiving a hand massage!
Learn more about Messy Vintage.