INCREASING numbers of families are being welcomed to the monthly ‘Messy Church’ sessions at Tavistock Parish Church.
The after-school get-togethers combine creative crafts, bible-themed activities, music and worship, rounding off with a shared hot meal. Since the group was launched in March last year, 62 families have been welcomed, with 15 adults and 25 children regularly attending and some 50 people, including helpers, sitting down to eating together.
At the annual meeting of St Eustachius’ Parochial Church Council, vicar the Very Rev Dr Chris Hardwick said: ‘As a church we have month by month gradually increased the number of children coming to “Messy Church” – a formula for bringing all age groups together to try their hands at crafts and activities based around a simple theme and Bible story and ending in informal worship. It’s a wonderful way of allowing people to begin or renew their experience of faith, worship and church.’
Sarah Pendle, who runs the group, said since the group’s launch 13 sessions had been held, including three summer ones (“Mini Messy”) and a Saturday one.
‘There is a very dedicated team of disciples who work amazingly hard, with more than 40 people who minister in a variety of ways in “Messy Church”.’
Sessions have included the parables of Jesus, Creation, the Bible, Mountains, Joshua, Christmas and Easter. Worship is led by vicar Chris, assistant curate Steve Martin and Sally Pancheri.
Sarah said through activities children shared what they had learnt about God’s word. Singing was greatly enjoyed and during worship time prayers were written and read out by children, then displayed on the Clothworkers’ altar and used in intercessions.
She thanked the PCC for funding the group and all supporters. Families are welcome to just turn up at any “Messy Church” session, usually held the first Wednesday of the month. The next one is on Saturday July 1, 3.30 pm to 5.30 pm.