Messy Church at St. Patrick’s Ballymena

DSC_3185St. Patrick’s Ballymena hosted their second Messy Church on 18th October and this drew a huge crowd of 177 people. It was a special occasion as it also marked the retirement of their rector Canon Stuart Lloyd.

The Messy Church is run by Lucy McLouglan and Alan Ross ably assisted by a team of willing volunteers. The team put a massive amount of time and effort and hard work into hosting Messy Church but this really paid off as people flocked in to enjoy the warm welcome, exciting crafts and activities and the delicious food on offer!

DSC_3177The theme was Creation/Harvest and giving thanks to God and was represented through singing, videos, arts and crafts and food. There was a huge variety of activities on offer to cater for all ages –from the very young to the more mature!

As part of the theme of thanksgiving, the parish took the opportunity to express their thanks to their rector, Canon Stuart Lloyd for all his work and dedication to the parish over the years. The children used the letters of the word RECTOR to acknowledge their thanks to him.

DSC_3196R is for RESPONSIBILITY and the huge responsibility the rector had within the three churches and all the many parishioners

E is for ENCOURAGING and all the encouragement he gave to people especially the young people and the leaders of this parish

C is for COMMITMENT and all the commitment he gave to this parish day by day year by year

T is for TEACHING and for all the teaching he gave to us as young people and all the many children’s talks and assemblies he gave

O is for OTHERS and how he cared for others young, old, sick and poor

R is for REACHING OUT and how he was involved in reaching out to those less fortunate than ourselves especially within our community and further afield in India and Nepal

The children thanked the rector on behalf of the young people and leaders and made a presentation to him.

DSC_3202Lucy was delighted with the response and the number of people coming along. She said “Wow what a morning at Messy Church; we were so encouraged to see so many and we even had to bring out more chairs – 177 in total of all ages wanting to engage in this ministry. Thanks to those that came and to the team who helped organise it.

Lucy and the team received very positive feedback. She said “There was a great atmosphere with everybody really engaging in everything. Many said this is the way forward and wanted to know when the next one was happening.”

At the moment St. Patrick’s host 2-3 Messy Churches per year but would love to increase this in the future.

To see more click on the photos below: