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Third Wednesday of every month 3:30pm - 5:30pm

St Barnabas Church, Purley 

About Messy Church

We would love to welcome you to our wonderful Messy Church which has been running since 13 April 2013. It is a shared outreach to our community from our three churches, and is held on the third Wednesday in every month between 3.30pm and 5.30pm in St Barnabas Church Hall. 

Most children who attend are of primary school age and under. Babies and toddlers are most welcome and we have a play space and toys for them. Grown-ups stay with their children and remain responsible for them at all times. Suggested donation is £2 per family. All are welcome to join in the fun and crafts. Just turn up.

This Ministry is a Fresh Expression of church which reaches out to those in our community with young children who might not, for various reasons, attend a traditionally-held church service on a Sunday.

Messy Church on Wednesdays once a month IS church for the majority of our Messy families.  It is a fun time of crafts, sharing in food, drink and friendship, and learning together through story, song and prayer, always pointing to Jesus.

Each month has a different theme related to scripture. There is coffee and cake on arrival for grown ups, and squash and biscuits for the little ones. Colouring, letting off steam time and relaxing begins the session, followed by four different craft options based around the theme. It's all very relaxed and you may turn up at any time during the session. Around 4.45pm the children and their grown ups make their way into the church, for storytime, song and prayer. During this time, the volunteers prepare the tables for supper and the children return for a hot meal. Examples of this might be: fish fingers and chips or jacket potatoes cheese and ham, followed by fruit pies or ice cream.

For our volunteers, it is a warm opportunity to share 'church' with the many young families who live in our community and go to our local schools. As one of our newer volunteers said "it gave me such a lovely warm feeling to be recognised by one of the children, as soon as he arrived he gave me the biggest possible smile of recognition". Another said "I love this time of sharing Jesus with the children".

Forthcoming Messy Church Dates

 Wednesday 5th December 2018

 Wednesday 16th January 2019

 Wednesday 20th February 2019

 Wednesday 20th March 2019 

 Wednesday 17th April 2019

 Wednesday 15th May 2019

 Wednesday 19th June 2019

 Wednesday 17th July 2019

 Wednesday 21st August 2019

 Wednesday 18th September 2019

 Wednesday 16th October 2019

 Wednesday 20th November 2019


In January, we explored the theme of Baptism.  This included a lovely storytime session where Revd Elizabeth talked to our families about baptism and the children role-played baptising some dolls in the font, and signing each other with water with the cross.  If this session made you think more deeply about baptism for either yourself or your children, our ministry team would be delighted to talk to you further about this.


We have a lovely Prayer Box made by the children.  This box is available at every Messy Church session for you to pop your prayers or your children's prayers in.  These prayers will be prayed for you in complete confidence.  If you ever feel the need for individual prayer, please contact our ministry team.

A typical Messy Church session runs like this:

3.30pm Welcome Time

  • Relax, chat and play - colouring sheets available
  • Tea, coffee, biscuits and cake

4.00pm - 4.45pm

  • Introduction to theme
  • Craft activities where adults can participate with children
  • Quiet book area available
  • Play space with toys for babies

4.45pm - 5.00pm Celebration

Songs, story time and prayer in the church, related to the theme

5.15pm Meal

Hot sit down supper

Who to contact:

If you want to ask any questions, please contact The Parish Office

"Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 

Matthew 19:13-14

  Messy Church Logo Copyright Bible Reading Fellowship © 2013.