Brave Hearts

Messy Church Leaders of Scotland

Published 16th June 2024 by Aike Kennett-Brown

E-N-J-O-Y – God is good, God is good, God is good!

These Fischy music lyrics were still ringing in our ears, as the BRF Messy Church team travelled back from our recent trip to Scotland. We really did E-N-J-O-Y:

  • Meeting with 38 people in Dundee, and 45 people in Glasgow, who travelled from near and far parts of Scotland to be with us (including the Orkney Islands), all at various stages along their Messy Church journey.
  • Amazing hospitality at Lochee Parish Church Dundee (shout out to Matthew, his Mum Lorraine and wife Rachel) and Croftfoot Parish Church Glasgow (shout out to Fiona).
  • Hearing stories from those who are new to Messy Church, 10 years along their journey, or hoping to start shortly.
  • Learning new songs and dance moves with Suzanne and Christy from Fischy Music, helping us to create Christ-centred community through singing, during our time of celebration.
  • Meeting in person with our Scottish planning team: Isobel Booth-Clibborn (Church of Scotland), Matthew McKenzie (Youth & Family Worker, Camperdown & Lochee Ministry), Claire Benton-Evans (Children and Youth Officer, Diocese of Brechin, Scottish Episcopal Church), and Karen Wallace (Youth Advisor at Presbytery of Glasgow) and the additional volunteers they gathered for the day, including Reuben Addis (Messy Church Support Team member) and Suzi Farrant (Church of Scotland).
  • Delivering our training workshops on Intergenerational Discipleship, Starting a Messy Church and Messy Church Goes Wild outdoor session.
  • Our retreat day at Lunan Bay – a time to reflect and pray before our training days.

Aike particularly enjoyed seeing leaders equipped to lead and get an opportunity to put their new skills into practice: Fischy music taught us their new ‘Speak Up’ song, written in conjunction with Christian Aid (it’s one of the songs recommended on our Christian Aid Harvest Messy Church session!) about speaking up for Climate Justice. A small group of ‘Brave Heart’ leaders then formed a singing collective to teach and lead this song during our Messy Church Goes Wild outdoor celebration at the end of the training.

Jane was encouraged by the number of people who came along to her ‘Starting a Messy Church’ workshop. As well as those looking to get started, there were established Messy Church team members keen to re-connect with the values. During the Q&A at the end, there was some great wisdom shared by existing leaders and a real encouragement to “Go for it! You won’t regret it.” We really hope that as well as a closer connection between Messy Churches in Scotland and the BRF Ministries team, people will have gone away with new, local connections and a sense of Messy community.

Sally enjoyed hearing from those attending about all they are doing locally and the mutual encouragement and ideas sharing between local teams as people talked over coffee and over lunch. She also had some great conversations about the joys of different ways of connecting with people when you take church outside, in particular round a fire and through eating together whatever environment you are in.

God is indeed good and many of our prayers were answered, including safe travel, and a much-improved weather forecast for our outside activities!

We continue to pray for Messy Church leaders in Scotland, that they will have Brave Hearts and courage to experiment with new ways to demonstrate and declare God’s abundant love and grace to their local communities.

Aike Kennett-Brown

BRF Ministries Messy Church Ministry Lead

If you’re thinking of starting or looking to develop some aspect of your Messy Church, we have a number of different training opportunities available to you.

We have a programme of online Masterclasses covering a range of topics. Why not attend as a whole team and spend some time together afterwards reflecting on what you’ve heard.

If you’d prefer something in person, we can travel to your venue, at a date and time to suit you, to deliver a bespoke session tailored to your needs. You may wish to contact other local Churches in your area to see if they would also be interested in attending and therefore share the costs.

And finally, if it’s something more ‘bitesize’ on a particular topic you’re after, check out our ‘How to…’ video guides.

Visit the training page on the website for more information about how we can support and resource your Messy Church ministry!

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