Messy Church tries to be a gathering of people whose identity is, or might one day grow into being, in Christ.
One traditional model of gathered church is that of sending the children and young people out to their own groups during the main service, so the adults can learn and worship in a particular way and the young people in another.
Messy Church is the opposite of this.
It has at its heart the creation of a space where people of all ages come together safely to learn and worship. It is based on the concept that the church is the body of Christ and that we need each other, in all our differences, to grow as followers of Jesus. Children can learn from adults and adults can learn from children. We all learn how to love each other and to love God by spending time together, worshipping God together, being a model of discipleship for others and letting others be models for us.
The shape of Messy Church is created around the needs of families with children, though, of course, these needs may also be present in the lives of individuals who are at a different stage of family life, such as single people of any age or people living far away from their families. ‘God sets the lonely in families’ and always has, and Messy Church is an opportunity to enjoy the life, liveliness, loving care and purpose of the family of God at all stages of life.