Come&C Messy Church
St Matthias’ Church in Killiney–Ballybrack is holding a Diocesan Come&C Messy Church on Sunday May 21 from 4.00 pm to 6.00 pm. Everyone is invited to join them and experience Messy Church. The theme for the afternoon is ‘The Unbelievable Truth – Jesus is Alive’ and all are welcome.
Messy Church started 14 years ago in a Church of England Parish in Portsmouth, faced with many of the challenges that many parishes experience today, in attracting new people and engaging families and young people.
St Matthias’ Church Killiney Ballybrack, started Messy Church in September 2015 and it has been growing from strength to strength ever since. Messy Church is a way of being Church for all ages involving craft, celebration and hospitality. The parish runs Messy Church once a month for two hours on a Sunday afternoon in the parish centre and church. It is informal and easy for people attending to invite family, friends and neighbours to Come & C. Their attendance ranges from 60 to 90 people each month and it is established as part of the regular worship services.
The initiative is extremely well supported by parishioners of St Matthias’. It involves approximately 20 people to run the Messy Church Service, including a Welcome Team, a Craft Team and a Hospitality Team. The initiative has been successful in attracting people and families who were not attending Church to come to Messy Church, some now also attend 10.30 Sunday Worship and one mother has joined the Select Vestry.
Alistair Doyle, who coordinates Messy Church in St Matthias’ points out that Messy Church is mentioned in the Come&C Booklet as being an activity supported by lay voluntary activity. It was also mentioned by most groups at the High School Come&C Event in June 2015 and at subsequent Rural Deanery Meetings. However, he notes, there are very few Church of Ireland parishes in the dioceses running Messy Church.
“There are no other registered Messy Churches of any denomination in Dublin & Glendalough. There are now almost 3,700 churches worldwide, of all Christian denominations running Messy Church and the pace of churches adopting it is accelerating. There are nearly 30 registered Messy Churches in Ireland, and over 20 in Northern Ireland, however less than 10 in the South, mostly in Cork and now only one in Dublin,” he explains.
“Messy Church of course fits with the Five Marks of Mission of the Anglican Communion, as it gives the Messy Church Team the opportunity to Tell, Teach and Tend to an intergenerational congregation. It provides a great informal way of inviting friends, families and neighbours to Come&C, introducing them to us and for those who have not attended church before, introducing them to Jesus,” Alistair adds.