Dozens of children and families turned Holy Trinity Church, Whaley Bridge, into a ‘messy church’ for a couple of hours as they caught the growing Olympic excitement. They thought about Whaley Bridge’s own Olympian, Jenni Pinches, a member of the GB female gymnastic team. The children making paper torches and a huge Going for Gold banner, cheered on the British Olympians and sang an Olympic song, ‘If I was a marathon runner, I’d thank you Lord’.
‘Messy Church’ is a Church of England programme that has been running nationally for a few years, trying to get people who don’t attend church regularly to attend an informal event. This was the first one in Whaley Bridge, and exceeded organisers’ expectations.
The messy part of the afternoon was the children’s games and creative crafts, taking place around tables in the church, Children – especially boys – loved to lift their torches aloft. But three-year-old Megan Morten was not to be outdone. She may not quite understand what her torch was for – but she enjoyed waving it. Mum Susanne Morten, who brought three children along to the event, described it as ‘brill!’
Churchwarden Marion Lacey, who co-ordinated a team of 15 volunteers, said: “We chose a Sunday afternoon, because working mums would find it difficult at any other time. The idea was to draw families from the wider community and it has been a great success. We plan another ‘Messy Church’ before Christmas.”