You will know the needs of those who come to your Messy Church. We know of Messy Churches who are still meeting over the coming month and providing space to acknowledge the Queen’s death and support for those for whom this may provoke their own grief and feelings of loss for loved ones. We encourage you to take advice from your denomination and sending church leadership.
Resources for Messy Churches following the death of the Queen
These two activities may be useful during Messy Churches in the coming weeks:
You will need: scraps of coloured material (depending on where you are, you might use leaves, fabric, newspaper or magazines); a large outline of a crown to represent the Queen (again this might be drawn on a large piece of paper or if you’re outside might simply be in string or rope)
Work together to fill in the outline of the crown using whatever material you have available. Afterwards you might add candles as a symbol of your prayers of thanks for the life and service of Elizabeth II and for Charles III as he becomes king.
Talk about how we all have different feelings and memories of a person and that these build up to create a picture of the whole person.
You will need: sticks with bark on from the garden, park or forest; potato peelers; paint; paint brushes
Younger people may simply make a pointy end and use it to draw in the earth or paint their stick in different colours as a reminder of something about the person they’re remembering. Older people can whittle their stick safely with the peelers, creating either a pattern of stripes to represent both brighter and sadder memories of someone; or another pattern that represents that person in some way – for example, spots because they used to wear a spotty dress, crosses because they went to church or Xs because they gave you big kisses. Or simply make marks on the stick and think about the mark they made on your life. (People will come up with their own great ideas.)
Talk about how good it is to share memories of someone you love and tell stories about what they did.
The following resources may also be helpful.
Seriously Messy – making space for families to talk together about death and life. Contains five Messy Church sessions: Remembering; Saying goodbye and hello; Sleeping tight; Being loved; and Finding safe spaces.
Get Messy! September–December 2013 The best ever home (based on John 14:1-7). Contains activities focusing on the Christian hope of one day going home to be with God.
Prayer Spaces in Schools A range of activities which are easily adapted for an all-age context.