Priest's Page...

'Maureen's Musings'

December 2011

We wish you a Messy Christmas,
We wish you a Messy Christmas,
We wish you a Messy Christmas!
And a Happy New Year!

No, that isn't a misprint in the magazine, but a reference to the new 'service' that St Chad's is planning to launch on January 19th - but in the School - not the Church.

This is part of a nationwide movement called 'Messy Church' that began a few years ago and is proving amazingly popular in parishes of all kinds, up and down the land.

It is called 'Messy' because it allows children to teach us grown-ups how to enjoy ourselves again with play - specifically with making things, sticking things, decorating things, colouring things and especially eating things! And at the same time to learn something about the Bible and about God's love for each and every one of us. And it is 'Messy' church too, because it isn't quite as formal or structured as our services in church - as good as those are for the people who know how they work and what to do when. Messy Church is aimed at those families who find that Sunday is just not a good day to come to church, (or who don't feel drawn to a particular denomination like the Church of England ) but who would like to spend some time together learning more about God's love for the world - and for them.
So we are planning to start with one service each half-term - and the first is to be on Jan 19th 2012 - which is a Thursday, after school at 3.30pm. Children - find a grown-up to come along with you and discover just how much fun (and messiness) we can enjoy while thinking about the story of Noah and his Ark. We have chosen this theme to begin, because it is all about God allowing people (and animals!) to have a new start, to wipe the slate clean, and begin again - so it seemed like a good one to choose for a new beginning and a New Year. I think you will find that Mrs Yeomans is telling you more about this exciting new development elsewhere in the magazine.

I am also happy to be able to tell you that the church in Pattingham & Patshull has recently been able to make a small additional contribution to school funds to allow them to purchase some new worship resources. And as I write this in mid November, we are looking forward to a visit from some Year 3 children to our 'drop in cafe' next Wednesday, as they want to come and talk to some Pattingham residents about the village we share and about their memories.

This mutual flow of interest and enquiry has to be good for us all - whatever our age, and reminds me too that Jesus once placed a child in the midst of his grown-up disciples and reminded them that they could learn a lot from the simple faith of a child .... may we all do likewise!

So I wish you well for the Festive Season and sincerely hope that you will re-connect with the child inside of you to enjoy something of the wonder and delight that Christmas should bring to all ... Emmanuel, Christ is with us - Hallelujah!
Happy Christmas and a Peaceful and Blessed New Year.