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Viewpoint from Revd David Wells 26/08/2022

David WellsRevd David Wells
Rector, Caister-on-Sea


In Caister this summer we had our first Messy Church, held over a week in a marquee in the playing field, and drawing dozens of children with their mums, dads, grans, etc to take part in bible-themed creative activities, to sing songs and share prayers, before sitting down to a meal together.  Messy Church is a format that has spread like wildfire (if that’s not an inappropriate image in a time of drought) across the country - there are close to 3000 Messy Churches now
I suspect the success of Messy Church, in Caister, and elsewhere,  is down to the way it surprises people - in  a good way.  Someone described it as Church - but not as you know it.  Church can appear, staid, proper and strict - somewhere that respectable, aspirational people go in their Sunday best
dove leftMessy Church turns that upside down by putting the emphasis on hospitality and creativity and fun, and by placing the young at the centre of it all.  The mess in Messy Church is not just associated with the craft activities - it is also the inner mess we all carry with us.  Messy Church gives us permission to come as we are, including our mess, rather than having to put on a front of respectability
It is not surprising that Messy Churches have grown at a time when many other churches have declined, because it is those who know they are a mess, and need help out of that mess, who are drawn to Jesus.  Arguably the first messy church was the community of outcasts that gathered round Jesus, as he sat down to eat and drink with “tax collectors and sinners”.  The very un-messy Pharisees were outraged at the company he kept, but Jesus told them it is not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick.  In other words, he came to save the messy not the respectable, which is why Messy Church is such a good way of sharing the gospel and bringing a new generation to know Jesus today


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