When Covid lockdown meant that Messy Church at Ruskington near Sleaford had to stop meeting it didn't stop members contacting the 14 or so families that they are in touch with so that they could do Messy Church at home. Messy Church craft bags were delivered to homes; often these had to be left on the doorstep but sometimes there was the opportunity for conversation too. The craft bags provided a welcome change by providing something for families to do which didn't involve looking at a screen! The deliveries also provided a demonstration of pastoral care and an opportunity to remember the families in prayer.
The ongoing communication with families has helped Messy Church re-establish now that in person sessions are allowed again and strangely the pandemic has had some positive spin offs such a chance to do things a little differently which have worked better.
At the session in September 2021, the first one back following the pandemic, rather than seven craft tables which families circulated around, each family stayed with the same helper throughout the whole session. They did craft together, they sat together in worship and they ate together so helping to build up a bond between the church member and the family.
Remembrance weekend offered a good opportunity for activities relating to memories, candles and poppies. Once again these activities were delivered to the homes as the increased Covid rates meant that it didn't feel safe to meet.
Around 8 or 9 church leaders and helpers run the monthly Messy Church sessions and the ages of the participants range from babies to grandparents. Seeds of faith are sown but there is no expectation that the families will join the regular congregation. Rather they see Messy Church as their church.
For more information on Messy Church please contact Deacon Jane Paine, Regional Co-ordinator or see https://www.messychurch.org.uk/.
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