Today was our Messy Advent service and John told us about the history of Advent and what the Advent Crown candles represent. Sue had us rehearsing the songs for our next meeting which will be our Messy Christmas. Some of the children had songs and poems that they will add and our craft was making Nativity Suncatchers to hang on our Christmas trees or in the window. We had to sing Happy Birthday three times and Alfie brought his Birthday cake to share with us. There were hot scones and flapjack too, so it was a lovely party we all had.
Our Messy Church service was all about the harvest. John told us of the first Harvest Festival Service in Morwenstow, Cornwall where the vicar, Robert Stephen Hawker, held it in 1834. Thanking God for the harvest had been done for centuries and still happens throughout the world. The children celebrated by each making a tree with tissue paper leaves in all the colours of Autumn. Afterwards we sang and prayed and our refreshments included chocolate biscuits, which always go down well.
Today, at Messy Church, our subject was ‘Joy’ and it was a particularly joyous occasion, because we had the Bishop of Stockport with us. Bishop Libby was the first Lady Bishop in the Church of England and she talked to us about what special things she wore, the meaning each had for her and how they remind her of her joy with her faith and in her job. Later, after the craft session making ‘mini bishops’ she again spoke about the things that make her happy and the children joined in with some of their favourite things, even doing maths at school! We had our usual songs and Bishop Libby did a conga to ‘Marching in the Light of God’ up the church aisle, followed by everyone else. We closed with The Grace followed by refreshments of Pizza, scones, biscuits and drinks. We all enjoyed the visit and hope it won’t be too long before we see Bishop Libby again.
The theme of Messy Church today was animals, the last of our three services on God’s Creation. John told us of the numbers of animals mentioned in the Bible and of how Jesus was kind to them and used them as good examples in his teachings. We them made pictures of farmyards from block stencils and coloured inks. Then there was a cartoon film on sheep, illustrating the work of a good shepherd just like Jesus. Finally, after The Grace, we had our refreshments, including freshly baked scones. We were very lucky to share our time with visitors from India, Yorkshire and Essex who we hope enjoyed their time with us.
June Messy Church
We had a busy day carrying on our Creation theme, this time on fish. We began our service by learning about Jonah being eaten by a big fish and he has now been added to our Jesse Tree, where you can see him in the belly of the whale. We then made fish to hang around our necks, which we filled with bands of coloured sand. A film about Jesus calling four of his disciples followed. They were Simon, Andrew, James and John, who were all fishermen. After The Grace, we had our drinks with chocolate biscuits and were joined by a family from Germany who were travelling along the canal in a narrow boat. They were surprised when Nigel welcomed them in their native tongue and they wrote in the visitors book how welcome they had been made.
The Theme of today’s Messy Church was water and what it means to us all. We watched a film about the need for some people to have clean water and another on how we should never waste it. In our activity Sue told us the parable of the mustard seed and as some of us are in a competition to try to grow the tallest Sunflower, we acted out growing from a seed into a huge plant. We then made our own collages of flowers, before we ended with the Grace and refreshments with chocolate biscuits.
Today we had two films on the big screen in our gathering. The first was about how much Jesus Loved us, to do all he did for us. After that we made ‘sand crosses’, which were quite easy to make but very attractive when finished. Then we had our second film about the celebrations that took place when Jesus rose from the dead. When we had completed our crosses, Sue led us outside to show them off under the cherry blossom tree in the church grounds. Our refreshments followed before we left in the Spring sunshine.
We had a very full service for Mothering Sunday and after we had sung and prayed, particularly for those caught up in the London attack, the children were kept busy decorating photo frames. Each was then filled with a picture of the child and they then presented them to their Mums. Sam, Alfie and Naomi all recited poems or readings to their mothers and Penelope sang a song. After singing another hymn and playing along with our band instruments, bunches of daffodils were given out to everyone. We all joined hands for The Grace, on this beautiful sunny day and then stopped for drinks and loads of chocolate cake.
We had a wonderful Messy Church today with a wedding, remembering the one at Cana where Jesus turned the water into wine. We began with Isabel pouring water into a glass jar and the water changed into a Rose wine colour. After our service we had a dance like we were at a Jewish wedding and snaked all around the church. Naomi then played the part of a caterer at the Cana wedding and was interviewed with another caterer and Mary, by John. She told us of the marvelous happenings and then everybody set about decorating a cake. After another song led by Sue, we said The Grace and settled down to our refreshments which included the cakes we had decorated.
We were especially pleased to welcome our new youngest member, Ryan James Lloyd, born on 22nd January, 2017, weighing 8lbs 3oz. He slept all the way through our noisy service, accompanied by big sister Jessica, Mum Sarah and Dad Jonathan.
A good crowd turned up on a drizzly day to make their Christingles and hear about the work of the Children’s Society. We sang ‘This Little Light of Mine‘ and ‘Walking in the Light of God‘. After the oranges had been decorated and topped off with glow sticks we all re-assembled in the pews to hear Rev. Anne play ‘Pass the Parcel‘ with a difference. As each layer was pealed away there was a chocolate biscuit with a single word. At the end the words spelt out a message from St Paul, “Thanks be to God for our special gift“. Again we sang two Christingle songs and at the end we had toast and biscuits with our drinks. The collection of £100 has been given to the Children’s Society.