Hello! I’m Jessica aka Messy Jessy.
I’m the Children’s and Family worker at a Methodist Church in Nottingham.
Sometime 2005/6 in a rainy Caravan site somewhere in England my dad put on the Fresh Expressions DVD. We watched through lots of different clips of churches that were being pioneered throughout the UK, but the one that wowed us was Messy Church. So 12 year old me went back to my church and said this is what we needed to do. We set up Messy Church at our Church in Bristol, with the help of a Deacon and a team of people, and I co-ran the worship for a number of years, before we moved to Essex.
After moving to Essex I spent 3 months volunteering in the Philippines and then 4 months working in France at Spring Harvest Holidays on one of the kids teams. (I also had the pleasure of going back to SHH with Lucy Moore and the Messy Church team the following year to showcase Messy Church.) Then I moved to Nottingham to do an internship with Christian Aid, where I helped to pilot the Christian Aid Messy Theme. During my internship I did a lot of work in schools, with kids churches and youth groups among many other things, like a trip to Colombia, recording an EP, and ‘living below the line’. Through one of the youth groups, I met my husband Michael, who was then a youth worker, and so when the internship ended in 2014 I decided to stay in Nottingham. I applied to be the Children’s and Family worker at Grangewood Methodist Church. That’s what I’ve been doing ever since, running kids church, messy church and all sorts of other things. Our Messy Church has grown not only in size, but in faith and commitment and after planning, preparing and running almost 50 sessions, with a bit of nudging, I thought it was about time to share my ideas.
Why should you get Messy?
Well Messy Church is a brilliant expression of church, and it very much is Church in it’s own right! It is completely ALL AGE, and this is something I’m really passionate about. Any one from 0-101 can enjoy Messy Church, but it just means you have to adapt and change for your community. Messy Church is hospitality, it’s community, it can serve and be served. It is so many things and so worth running.
As I have almost 50 plans to sift through and turn into blogs it might take a little while, but here we go!