What is Messy Church?

It’s church, but not as you know it.

Our values

Messy Church values are about being Christ-centred, for all ages, based on creativity, hospitality and celebration


Messy Church is a church that helps people encounter Jesus as Lord and Saviour.

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Messy Church is for everyone. Every element aims to be relevant and accessible to all ages.

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Messy Church reflects the creativity of God in its imaginative hands-on approach to being church together.

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Messy Church is outward-facing, welcoming everybody to enjoy the hospitality and unconditional love of God.

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Celebration involves marking significant events. Messy Church reflects a God of joy who wants people to have life in all its fullness.

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What Messy Church is and isn’t

Every month thousands of people of all ages come together to discover Jesus, including those who’ve never been to church before. In over 30 countries around the world, we eat, play and worship together. Expect activities, songs and prayers and an entirely new way to express your faith.


What Messy Church is…

Messy Church is for everyone

Messy Church is a form of church for children and adults that involves creativity, celebration and hospitality.

Prioritises anyone who doesn’t belong to a church

It’s primarily for people who don’t already belong to another form of church.

Flexible meet ups

It meets at a time (and sometimes in a place) that suits people who don’t already belong to church.


It’s fun! Simple!

All stages of faith welcome

It’s a church for people at all stages of their faith journey and of any age – a congregation that is as valuable and worthy of investment as any of your other congregations.

Promotes family growth

It models and promotes good ways of growing as a family: a nuclear family, an extended family, and a global and local church family.

Introducing Jesus

Its aim is to introduce Jesus, to give an opportunity to encounter him and to grow closer to him.

Messy Church is part of BRF Ministries

Messy Church is part of BRF Ministries which believes, with the historic churches, in one God, who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Messy Church is resourced, supported and enabled by BRF Ministries.

We meet once a month

Most Messy Churches meet once a month, although a few meet more frequently or more occasionally.

What Messy Church isn’t…

Just for children

It’s much easier to aim a Messy Church at one particular age group, but do stop and reflect on whether the non-verbal messages that this sends are what you want to say about God. If your Messy Church’s teaching, crafts and food are all aimed just at the under-elevens, think what message you’re giving both children and adults: church is only relevant/fun/meaningful/interested in you until you’re twelve? God is for babies? No, Messy Church needs to be constantly creative in its thinking about how to involve very different people: young and old, families and single people, male and female, academic and practical, poor and rich.

A club

The whole of Messy Church is about worshipping God, having fellowship, exploring faith matters. It welcomes everyone, involves everyone, values everyone, is always there for the outsider. It’s a church.

A way to get people to attend Sunday church

There are examples of people starting in Messy Church and deciding to join Sunday church as well but these are the exception rather than the rule. If people wanted to go to established church, they would be going by now. Messy Church is interdependent with established church, but will usually operate as a separate congregation or church.

Just for church families

Anyone already belonging to church should be thinking about serving on the leadership team of Messy Church, however old or young they are, and helping others come to know Jesus.

Just for families

All are welcome: single, widowed, childless, divorced. Church is inclusive, not exclusive.

A quick fix

Growing disciples takes time. Messy Church has only been going a few years anywhere. It usually only meets once a month. Growth will probably be slow.

Easy for the team

It takes money, time, prayer, commitment and energy from the church and leadership team.

A drain on church resources

Yes, it will take money and time, effort and gifted people to run it, but it will give back in return a group of people who are fired up for mission, empowered by using their God-given gifts. It will spark off ideas and inspiration about what church is all about and will renew vision. It will grow goodwill in the neighbourhood towards the church and, most importantly, provide the opportunity to do effective mission in your own community.

Set in stone

We’re learning all the time. As the network of Messy Churches grows and develops, so the best ways of delivering Messy Church will develop and grow. BRF Ministries has deliberately chosen to have a ‘non-controlling’, ‘hands-off’ approach in the way it promotes Messy Church in the hope that this will give God space to grow his church as he wants to, and that it will give everyone encouragement to experiment and innovate.

Introducing Messy Church

Lucy Moore, founder of Messy Church, introduces you to the world of Messy Church.

If you would like to find a Messy Church near you visit our directory.

Messy Church is an all-age fresh expression of church that offers countercultural transformation of family life through families coming together to be, to make, to eat and to celebrate God.'
Claire Dalpra, The Sheffield Centre
Helen Jaeger Training

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We rely on fundraising and gifts in wills to deliver Messy Church. Your gift helps us impact thousands of lives each year. Please support our work.