Messy Church

Messy Church

Messy Church is a new way of being church and is found across the world.
It is for people of all ages and is based on welcome and hospitality which is why we at Emmanuel eat breakfast together when we meet on Sunday mornings. Other Messy Churches may meet during the week and have a lunch, tea or evening meal together.
Our Messy church usually meet on the first Sunday of each month from 10:00 am till 12:00 noon with breakfast.

Do you know?

Messy Church started in 2004 in Portsmouth and now there are about 4,000 registered Messy Churches, with new ones starting all the time, even during lockdown. This week Cyber Messy Church was launched.

There are Messy Churches worldwide from Albania and Australia to Ukraine and the USA, with regional coordinators for support.

Messy Church is all about being Christ-centred, for all ages, creativity, hospitality and celebration, and these five values are at the heart of what makes this way of being church work.

It is primarily aimed for people who don’t already belong to another form of church. Its motto is ‘Church but not as you know it’.

A research study by the Church Army has shown that Messy Church is not ‘just a bit of fun’. It is reaching people that would not otherwise go to church, making disciples and modelling new patterns of leadership, and it is doing so across a wide range of economic and social contexts.

Messy Vintage is a missional offshoot of Messy Church, a movement that takes Messy Church values and good practice to older people, mainly in residential homes.

Messy Men is for men in prison, again with activities to engage them. For example a pack of broken biscuits illustrated how Jesus came for those who are broken inside when their outside seems ok.

Rochester Prison hosts Messy Church in the family visiting area where families can make crafts to take to their loved ones inside, so strengthening family ties.

Get Messy! is a magazine with helpful articles from around the world and monthly themes with suggested activities. There are also ideas online for Messy Church at Home, and advice on how we should safely return to Messy Church in person.

During the pandemic, Messy Church has a weekly Facebook Live on Wednesdays, 9am and 8pm, when someone speaks for half an hour about their experiences. We add comments which makes a conversation. It makes us realise that Messy Church is worldwide when we see someone from New Zealand in summer clothes while we had snow last week. A comment from this morning, ‘Gathered church should be the occasional expression of the true church which is at home, church in the family, church in the community, church on the streets, church at work…etc’. What do you think?

Colin and I have taken part in Messy Meetups in a Bromley Café, and online during lockdown, when we can exchange ideas and encourage others, again with insights from far and near.

Here at Emmanuel we have shared with Ruth in hosting Messy Church on Zoom with bags of related activities delivered to families. It has been good that David has been able to join in before he leads worship for everyone at 11, and also that he was able to host the Crib Service on Zoom from the manse. We are all missing being Messy Church in person and hope that we can be Messy again soon.

Pat Best



Messy Church worldwide has over half a million people attending each month, across all  denominations, engaging with many who would not otherwise come to church. The core values are about being Christ – centred, for all ages and based on creativity, hospitality and celebration. How do we get our ideas? Messy Church is part of … Continue reading About


Unfortunately Messy Church has been suspended for the time being along with all other external social activities. Encourage one another, keep safe and we will see you all soon. … Continue reading April


What was revealed? We  heard about John’s vision of heaven and some of the descriptions of what it will look like .  We then tried to re-create the city in heaven using cake and had a party to celebrate. … Continue reading March

January 2020

Breakfast and celebration. Stories, games, crafts and activities. We looked at Abram and Sarai. God changed Abram’s “high father” name to “Abraham,” “father of a multitude” (Genesis 17:5) and his wife’s name from “Sarai,” “my princess,” to “Sarah,” “mother of nations” (Genesis 17:15–16). … Continue reading January 2020

December 2019

This Messy Church was a little different as we moved into the main church building to combine with the Parade Service. The service centred around making christingles as the main theme along with colourful spinners, mobius strips and cocktail stick crosses. We also brought new toys to give to families who struggle to buy gifts … Continue reading December 2019


We discovered all about a girl called Ruth. We looked at people moving to different countries, making flour and friendship. … Continue reading October


We met at 10am for breakfast and heard about what happens to a man called Joseph. Later we sang some songs from “Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat” … Continue reading September