From Network magazine Issue 18
Messy Church “The most special thing that any of the families have said is that they’ve felt loved and accepted here”. Fr David D’Silva of St Leonard’s Church in Scawsby says they’ve found new growth in their Messy Church sessions – while fully embracing their AngloCatholic theology.
Promising signs of growth and New Congregations have been developing in Doncaster, thanks to the work of the team at St Leonard’s and the enthusiasm of those taking part. Messy Church was launched as a brand new item for families in the September before lockdown (2019). Within the Diocese strategy, this was one of our first ten New Congregations.
David, Priest-in-Charge says by March 2020 Messy Church had grown significantly:
“By March it had between 30 and 45 adults and young people attending; 80% of those didn’t come on a Sunday morning. We stick to the Messy Church formula; the gathering, activities, worship and meal. All we do is topics around the church’s year, the saints and bits of theology in keeping with our own tradition.
“It’s moving forward as a New Congregation firmly based within Messy Church and within the Catholic tradition of the Church of England: one that focuses on the sacraments as well as baptisms and confirmations.
We’re moving towards celebrating Mass for the first time, which will be in keeping with a greater number of those attending Messy Church on a Wednesday being confirmed and being able to partake in the eucharistic feast. It’s been a real joy to see it start from nothing and then take on a life of its own”.
David thinks the feedback has been very positive from those taking part, and adds that there’s a hunger for the sessions to continue: “What we try to do at St Leonard’s with any new venture is to begin by creating a community. We brought a group of people together who didn’t really know anything about church, and we created a place where people could feel accepted and loved. We were lucky and blessed that so many took up the invitation. when they go to bed. We only do Messy Church during term time, but the kids keep coming back saying “when is it coming back?”
If you want to find out more about starting new things generally, or a New Congregation in particular, contact firstname.lastname@example.org