The Bible Reading Fellowship Enabling all ages to grow in faith

Messy Church

Church, but not as you know it

Messy Church - Colin Blake, Mead Vale MC, West Yorkshire

Messy Church is an international phenomenon, with nearly 4,000 registered churches around the world. It is a way of being church for families which enables people to encounter Jesus in a relaxed space. Messy Church is all about being Christ-centred, for all ages, creativity, hospitality and celebration, and these five values are at the heart of what makes this way of being church work. It is primarily aimed for people who don’t already belong to another form of church.

A session typically includes a welcome, a long creative time to explore the biblical theme through getting messy; a short celebration time involving story, prayer, song, games and similar; and a sit-down meal together at tables.

What is Messy Church?

Messy Church:

  • is a way of being church for families involving fun
  • is a church, not a craft club, that helps people encounter Jesus as Lord and Saviour
  • is found across the world
  • values are about being Christ-centred, for all ages, based on creativity, hospitality and celebration
  • is part of The Bible Reading Fellowship which believes, with the historic churches, in one God, who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

‘I’m loving the Messy Church ideas that are coming out. I’ve got three kids (aged five and under) and we are really missing our church community, so it’s lovely to be able to “join” in with things and explore faith at home with them. Thanks for all you are doing!’

Messy Church leader during the coronavirus lockdown

Messy Church is for everyone!

In this two-minute video, Lucy Moore talks about Messy Church being a place where everybody can come – young and old – to learn about the Christian faith and to meet God.

Find a Messy Church in your area

There are nearly 4,000 Messy Churches in over 30 countries on our directory.

Search to find a Messy Church near you using your postcode, town or city.

Messy Church resources

Browse our comprehensive range of resources for running a Messy Church, including the Get Messy! magazine.

What we’re working on

BRF’s Messy Church team work to help every Messy Church be all it can be by providing training and support to Messy Church leaders and by developing projects that will serve the whole Messy Church network.

We’re working on:

  • A pilot of discipleship resources for Messy Churches – we’re working with three Church of England dioceses to pilot new material, as well as working alongside the United Reformed Church, to help all involved with Messy Church to go deeper in discipleship.

How Messy Church is funded

Each year we need around £300,000 to sustain and develop Messy Church. Most of these funds are donated by individuals, churches and charitable trusts. We are so thankful to those who have generously given to support this ministry.

While we do generate some income for Messy Church through charitable activities, for example Messy Church training events and sales of Messy Church books and resources, this income doesn’t cover the full cost of what we offer.

How Messy Church is making a difference

The Playfully Serious report from the Church Army’s Research Unit, published in 2019, found that:

  • 81% of Messy Churches saw evidence of lives being changed by being part of a Messy Church
  • 40% of attendees have had little or no meaningful contact with church in the past
  • 21% had once had contact with the church but had stopped coming until now
Lucy Moore

Messy Church Pioneer

Lucy Moore is the founder of Messy Church. She is responsible for developing the work of Messy Church nationally and internationally through writing, speaking, reflecting and developing Messy projects. She continues to help lead the local Messy Church in her own church.

Before working full-time with Messy Church, Lucy was a member of BRF’s Barnabas team, offering training and using drama and storytelling to explore the Bible with children in churches and schools across the UK.