On Saturday June 22nd, sixty five of us – aged from 4 months to eighty years old – set off from Yate to spend the day in Severn Beach. Thanks to the generosity of the congregation at Emmaus Church, we had a lovely building as our base for our second ever ‘Messy Church Away Day.’ On arrival, everyone helped themselves to breakfast: croissants, toast, coffee, tea and juice were all on offer. After this, we set off on a gentle stroll down to the river to walk along the river bank following some of the Severn Beach Heritage Trail and answering questions as we went. On the way back we walked on the lower path and enjoyed scrambling across the rocks. The weather had not been good in the previous week, but God is good and we were blessed with a glorious sunny day.
We were ready for our buffet lunch by the time we returned to the church and the buzz of conversation suggested that everyone had had a good morning. There was a chill time after lunch with several craft activities on offer: making bottle rockets, soap carving, decorating handkerchiefs, making key-rings, glass painting or nail and thread hearts. Suitably relaxed, we all headed outside for some races and water games. Messy Church wouldn’t be Messy Church without cake so this was followed by tea and cake all round!
Mystery time next - who stole the DVD? Was it Cheerful Charlie, Bouncy Ben, Joyful Joshua, Jolly Josh or Just-So-Cool Joel? Our intrepid detectives made their way to John’s farm to question the five suspects. Thankfully, the culprit was identified and the DVD returned to Alison!
Next came dinner – jacket potatoes with bolognaise sauce followed by ice cream and the day finished with a viewing of ‘Mary Poppins Returns.’ Eleven hours after arriving, some happy but tired people returned to Yate!
So why did we do this? We wanted to invest time in people, to let them know how much God loves them and to continue to build the Christ-centred community that is at the core of Messy Church. We also just wanted to have fun together! We feel that we achieved all these things during the course of the day.
Alison Thurlow (St. Nix)