Fun for all the family
Families sharing fun times together whilst having an opportunity to explore faith.
How did it all start?
Early in 2017, we recognised we wanted to reach out into our community to offer a service that would meet ‘real family needs’. We are extremely fortunate to have both large indoor and outdoor space for play and activities. We looked at our skill sets, resources and child care backgrounds and then planned what we could offer to the wider community that would meet the need to be creative and messy, with space to play and relax whilst sharing quality time together as a ‘family’, recognising each family as unique. Here we are now with over 2 years under our belts, growing and developing with our Messy Families, and all still keen and enthusiastic to keep this going into the future.
Our Messy Vision at Ashton on Mersey URC
Messy Church can be anything you want it to be, but its core values remain the same. It is Christ-centred, for all ages, based on hospitality, creativity and celebration. Messy Church is a way of being a church for families that is fun: using craft, games, play, story, singing, friendship, caring and so much more. We see our Messy Church as reaching out to those who may be just dipping their toes into the water of Christianity to see if it’s the right move for them, or for families that have just moved to the neighbourhood and want to make friends. We offer our monthly sessions to all ages from babies to Grandmas and Granddads. The adults have as much fun as the children making crafts to take home, playing (you’re never too old), team games, outdoor activities (weather permitting) and there’s always a food-making activity (Yum)! We see Messy Church as ‘church in its own right, an alternative to the traditional ways that you might have grown up with and feel are “not for you”. Yet, Jesus in his teachings all those centuries ago did not say you had to go to church on a Sunday and ‘do’ a Sunday service. More that, Christianity is ‘a way of life’, sharing and caring about others and being kind. That is what we try to do within each session.
About the sessions
When you come you will be met with a warm welcome. There are different activities to choose from, you can do them in any order, and you don’t have to do them all. There will be a theme to the activities that will relate to a story that will be shared later. You will find other young families to talk with, share a cup of tea or coffee and have a chat, whilst your child is busy (though you are responsible for their welfare). We are all DBS checked and one of us is a first aider. After about an hour of creativity and action, we all gather together in the main church room for singing and celebration. The songs are child friendly and appropriate with every chance to play untuned instruments (it is a ‘get up and do’ session). We are lucky to have 3 team members who are all musical, playing a range of instruments including the piano and guitar to keep us in tune! After the singing, we have a story, which is either a modern retelling of a bible story or based around a Christian theme that children can understand. We always have lots of participation for all to join in and share, as we say Messy Church is ‘for the whole family’. After the celebration, we finish the afternoon with a shared meal, with all the children around tables together. This can be anything from picnic food to a hot meal (including a vegetarian option) depending on the time of year. There’s usually something left for the grownups too!
The session lasts 2 hours, 3-5pm, on every first Saturday of the month. You don’t have to stay for the whole session, we know you all lead busy lives, so feel free just to drop in too. There is no fee, however you can make a donation to food at meal time, but there’s no obligation to.
We’d love to see you
Please come along and try us out, you’ve nothing to lose except the opportunity to meet others, time out to relax with the family, have fun and be part of our friendly Christ-centred community.