Churches celebrate Messy Church Goes Wild Roadshow launch

Published: Friday September 23, 2022

Messy Church Goes Wild was officially launched at the Christian Adventure Centre in Viney Hill on Saturday. It’s the latest offering from the Bible Reading Fellowship’s popular Messy Church, but this time has a more adventurous twist.

A boy wearing sports clothes bends towards the ground with a magifying glass to his eyeMessy Church leaders, their families and congregation members were invited along to experience Messy Church Goes Wild, learn what it’s all about and look at ways they could bring it to life in their own worshipping communities.

In this breath of fresh air for worshipping communities, all the activities take place outdoors in nature, whether it be sunny, windy, wet or wild outdoors – so dressing for the weather is a must.

Messy Church Goes Wild aims to encourage Messy Churches to meet God outdoors, love the natural world, experience a sense of awe and wonder there and be more eco-aware in all we do, both inside and out, as gathered and dispersed church, for the good of the planet.

Over 120 people came to the pilot day, with Bishop Rachel joining in as part of a day visiting the area.

The Revd Jo Wetherall, the Growing Faith Officer at the Diocese of Gloucester, said, “How do you capture in words the essence of a day which is filled on the one hand with boisterous activity, laughter, cake and song and on the other hand, quiet contemplation, careful observation, painting and microscopic study?”

A member of St Luke’s Church, Tutshill (Tidenham Parish) said, “It was a wonderful day in a beautiful setting and so many varied activities to explore. All the families thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The age range of our group was from baby to 11 years and the activities we explored were open-ended in order that everyone was engaged, especially school-aged children.

“The organised activities were great and we saw the children’s imaginations producing their own ideas and play. One of the children said that it was the ‘best day ever’. It was a day to deepen our relationship with the children in our care for the day as well as the families. Thank you for a wonderful day that we could experience with our children without the preparation, and now you have provided us with more ideas to use in our church.”

Bishop Rachel, a boy and a woman looking carefully at a display on the floorThe Revd Dr Cate Williams, Environmental Engagement Officer at the Diocese of Gloucester, said, “We’ve been working in partnership with the BRF Messy Church team as they develop new resources to encourage Messy Churches to engage with God’s creation.  In times of environmental crises, learning to appreciate and love the world that God has given us is more important than ever.  We had great fun at our launch event and are hoping that participants and others will take the ideas into their own churches and communities.”

Aike Kennett-Brown from BRF Messy Church Ministry said, “The BRF Messy Church team had such a joy-filled day. It was lovely to see people of all ages from diverse backgrounds interacting with the Messy Adventures material, making connections between creation and the Creator. As we considered Jesus’ parable of the mustard seed during the celebration, I wondered what new ways of worshipping outdoors and renewed care for creation would emerge and grow in the Diocese of Gloucester.”

If you’re interested and want to take your worship outside, you can find the Messy Adventures resources here, starting with the Wild and Wiggle Adventure. More resources will be added to this page.

You can see some snapshots of the day in this video of highlights. We’re currently celebrating Creationtide in the Church of England – drop us a line with your creation-themed events and activities so we can share them. You can contact ku.1719045806gro.c1719045806oidso1719045806lg@ne1719045806wok1719045806

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