The Parish Church of St John the Evangelist - Mill s
Street, Derby

Messy Church

Messy church

Messy Church is a form of church for children and adults that involves creativity, celebration and hospitality.

It is both for our church family but also for people who do not already belong to another form of church.

The afternoon typically includes a welcome, a story, sometimes a short video, prayer, singing and discussion on a biblical theme. Then we have creative time, the sometimes messy bit, whether that be making things, going into the garden to discover things or just time to colour a picture with the theme of the afternoon. Whatever we do everyone is encouraged to take part, both children and adults.

We then finish by having tea together, a time for people to sit and talk and get to know each other.

Above all we like it to be fun with the overall aim to introduce Jesus, to give the opportunity to encounter him and to grow closer to him.

At St John’s we have approximately 6 Messy Church sessions a year – on a Sunday afternoon from 3pm.

These are always advertised on our Facebook page and posters go up on the church notice board. 

All leaders are DBS checked, we have a first aider present at each session. We encourage families to come and all stay to take part in the afternoon but should you wish to just drop your child off then we would request a quick chat to discuss any issues your child has, any dietary needs and also we will need an emergency contact number.

Comments from the participants

Here are a few comments from Messy church participants – both old and young – as to why they like Messy Church:

  • Pat Hanson

    (over 21!)

    As a long retired Sunday school Teacher I came first of all out of interest (or nosiness) but was soon caught up in the year of the children of all ages blending together (not segregated in to age groups) the freedom to flit like butterflies from one table to another.

    Connecting with adults, asking questions and generally having fun. Most of all they are comfortable in the Church and that was the thing I was taught when training – unless a child is comfortable in the Church, the Church is friendly not an awesome dark place, they will begin to ‘grow’ in the Church.

    I love the ‘noise’ they make with the musical instruments even babies joining in and come the tea how they sit together with new friends.

    Wish we had Messy Church in my day!

  • Anna Storer

    (aged 10)

    I like Messy Church because of the fun, messy activities we do and the food.

  • Ceri Gardner

    (aged 11)

    I like Messy Church because it is for all ages, you do fun activities and you get food at the end.

  • James Leatherland

    (aged 5)

    I like it, I like going to see what the activities will be and doing them. I love the piano and singing.

  • Debbie & Paul – James’ Mum & Dad

    (both over 21!)

    It’s a lovely informal atmosphere with a great mix of generations.

    Bible stories are woven into fun, hands on activities, from craft to planting bulbs to making apple pies.

    James particularly enjoyed the Palm Sunday messy church when he got to ride the (hobby) horse in the procession.

    Each session ends with time to share cake!

  • Mary Bucknell

    (over 21!)

    Messy Church at St John’s is just lovely. My twin grandchildren and I can share in all the activities together and talk about them afterwards.

    As little Edie says: “Where there is craft and cake… What’s not to like?”

  • Alison (Ali)

    (aged 3)

    Cos I love it! I like making things.