Brunswick Valley Uniting Church recieves Missional Grant for Messy Church  

Brunswick Valley Uniting Church recieves Missional Grant for Messy Church  

Brunswick Valley Uniting Church is aiming to grow their church younger, with a new Messy Church service. 

The congregation received a Missional Grant to support the service, which is part of its current strategic planning process.   

Secretary to the Church Council Carole Tansley told Insights that Brunswick Valley aims to address a gap in its services. 

“We identified a gap in providing mission and worship activities across generations,” Dr Tansley said. 

“Our worship congregation consists mainly of individuals over 70 years old, and while our missions—Food Box, Op Shop, and Playtime for Mums and carers with their tots—cover different generations and provide pastoral care and service, they do not include focused discipleship,” she said. 

“The Playtime group for babies, toddlers, and carers is a long-standing, successful missional activity, attracting up to 40 carers and children every week during term-time for the last 25 years.” 
“However, once the children leave to join school, we had no programs to continue our relationship with them. We are concerned that they may not experience any form of church at all.” 

“As part of our strategic planning process, we decided to focus on this intergenerational gap to ensure that current families, particularly older children, are provided with discipleship opportunities. Messy Church is an innovative approach to Christian worship and community outreach, offering an alternative form of church for those who may not feel comfortable attending traditional services. It typically involves crafts, games, activities, and a meal or snack, all centred around a specific theme or biblical story, appealing to families with children by providing a relaxed and interactive environment.” 

Messy Church gatherings will take place in the congregation’s Mullumbimby hall and church, outside regular Sunday worship times. 

Services will be designed to be accessible to people from all walks of life, including those with no prior church experience. The service will allow four year-old Playtime leavers to transition to the next stage of their Christian development and enable older siblings to join in church activities. 

“We have previous experience running a successful Messy Church pre-COVID in partnership with, and sited at, the local Anglican Church,” Dr Tansley said. 
“Although we have the experience, we currently lack the resources to operate a comprehensive Messy Church that aligns with our church’s growth strategy and we are keen to hold such sessions in our own church.”  

The Synod grant from the Growth Funds will help the congregation purchase resources. This includes supplies for activities like: art and craft materials, supplies for games and interactive activities, and resources for Godly Play.  

“We also need technology for playing videos in the hall, resources for volunteers to plan and facilitate activities, prepare food, and clean up the venue, as well as theme and curriculum resources, food and refreshments, and marketing materials for promotion and outreach,” Dr Tansley said. 

“We have just received the funds and are excited to run our first ‘taster’ on 10 July as a holiday club with a Messy Church focus. Our team comprises Rev. Tay Lee, our Minister, his wife, Woni Lee, Tania Hudson, Winifred Bower, and kitchen staff volunteers Beryl Pepper, Lalita Lyn, and Sally Tansley. We are thrilled about this new intergenerational, fun venture as we move into an exciting new era for our Mullumbimby church in Brunswick Valley.” 

“We are deeply grateful for the support and encouragement from Synod and our Regional Partnership (Presbytery). This grant not only provides the necessary resources but also reinforces our mission to serve the community in innovative and meaningful ways. We believe that Messy Church will be a transformative addition to our church’s activities, helping us to fulfil our vision of a vibrant, intergenerational faith community. We are inviting everyone to join us on this exciting journey and experience the joy and fellowship of Messy Church.” 

Messy Church is church for families who may not find other forms of church appealing and who don’t yet belong to a church.  It is typically held once a month and includes hands-on creative experiences. It began in the United Kingdom in 2004 and has since become popular elsewhere.

The Synod’s Missional Grants provide congregations up to $10,000 for missional activity through the Synod Growth Investment Fund. The next round of Innovation and Missional Grants is currently open and closes on 16 August.  


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