Messy Church

Activity Ideas whilst we are not meeting in the Church Building
September Messy Church - Harvest

This month's activities are about 'Being thankful for our Food' and our bible reading is 
Psalm 65 v9-13 and can be found online here

1. Make bread/soda bread or fancy shaped rolls.

A simple recipe
450g strong white bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
sachet of yeast
275ml milk
25g butter

Sieve flour and salt into a bowl and stir in the sugar and yeast.
Heat milk and butter gently in a pan until the butter has just melted.
Pour into bowl and stir until all mixed.
Sprinkle some flour onto table and kneed dough until it is smooth and stretchy.
Return dough to bowl and cover with cling film. Leave somewhere warm to rise for about 45mins.
Kneed again for about a minute and divide into 16 pieces.
Roll these into balls and flatten slightly. Place on a greased baking tray.
Leave to rise again for about 20 minutes.
Brush each roll with a little beaten egg or milk.
Bake for 10-12mins at 220C or gas mark 7

2. Make pizzas by adding tomato sauce and toppings to pitta bread or a homemade bread base


3. Cut fruits in half to look at patterns/shapes and talk about beauty in nature. Use the fruit juices to make 'mocktails' or use as paint to make a picture.

4. Wordsearch. Can you find all the words in the list?



5. Look at the food you have in your cupboard/fridge. What country do they come from? Can you find them on a map? Are any of them fairtrade?

6. Could you donate something for the foodbank to help people struggling to afford food? 
Or ask for support from foodbank/church if your family is struggling?

7. What is your favourite Harvest hymm? Make up a dance/movements to go with the words or tune.

8. Make an A-Z list of foods. Can you think of something for every letter? Are there any foods on your list that you haven't tried? Can you try something new?

9. Draw a picture of a tree with branches. Cut out some leaf shapes. Write different things that you are thankful for on the leaves and stick them on your tree.
Or draw a picture of something you are thankful for.

10. Bees help fruit and vegetables to grow by pollinating the flowers. Have a go at making a bee from a paper plate or egg carton.
How could you help look after our world and nature?

July Messy Church - Jonah

This month's story is Jonah and the Big Fish (sometimes called a whale). It can be found in the Bible in Jonah chapter 1 or online here
Have a read of the story before trying some (or all!) of the activities below.
There is also a song that you might like to listen to on YouTube here

In the story of Jonah we hear about a man who has been called by God but who runs away as he doesn't want to do what God is asking.
After spending 3 days inside the fish he is spat out onto a beach and goes to speak to the people at Ninevah as God asked. They listened to him, stopped their bad behaviour and turned back to God.
God gives everyone a second chance (and third, forth, fifth...thousandth...millionth chance) He wants to save everyone!

1.    Caught in the Storm

Caught in the Storm
Recreate the noises of the storm. See what items you can find around the house. Bang on a pan or baking tray or shake a rattle or 'rainmaker'. Add some rice to a tub and shake it.

Talk about how the storm that blew Jonah's ship was very strong. I wonder how the sailors felt. When they were scared by the wind they prayed to their gods for help. Who do you pray to for help?

2.  Fishing Game

Fishing Game
Cut out and colour fish shapes in card or thin cardboard. Attach a paperclip to each and put in a bowl or empty paddling pool (no water required, it will only make the fish soggy!) 
Find a magnet (a fridge one will do) and tie it to a piece of string. Tie the other end to a stick and go fishing!

Talk about whether you know any other stories in the Bible about fish. For example, Jesus turned a small boy's lunch of a few fish and loaves into a picnic for thousands of people;
some of Jesus' disciples were fishermen by trade;
when Jesus appeared to the disciples after he had risen, he cooked fish for them on the beach.

3. Retell the story in your own way

Retell the story
You could create a comic strip or act it out with friends or toys. Or try making a boat from junk modelling things (check your recycle bin for things to use!)

Talk about the challenge it can be to follow Jesus. How much effort are you prepared to put in to do what Jesus wants?

4. Find Jonah

Find Jonah
Hide a lego figure or other small toy figure in a sandpit, in shaving foam or slime or just around the house.

Now challenge a friend or family member to find Jonah!

Talk about what you do when you are searching for someone or something. Do you just run off and turn everthing over, or do you have a plan?
How did God know where to find Jonah?

5. Plastic fish

Plastic Fish
Draw the outline of a fish on a large piece of card. Collect plastic wrappers or other bits of plastic and glue them onto the fish.

Talk about how sea creatures are being hurt with plastic rubbish in the sea. There are masses of plastic waste, which are causing environmental hazards for fish and other wildlife.
What can we do? In Australia, there are clean up days at beaches. Inventors and scientists are developing ways to vacuum or collect the plastic, which is then removed from the sea.
But it would be far better if it was never there in the first place. Our church normally organises a litter pick once a month in our local area. Come and help next time we're out.

6. Creation Prayers

Creation Prayers
See if you can find a globe or a map of the world or look at one online. Look at some pictures of the earth and pollution. We know God cares not only for people but also for animals.
Write or draw a prayer about this.

Talk about what it would be like if Jonah was sent by God to our town. What would the message be for us about caring for creation?

7. Jonah in the Big Fish

Jonah in the fish 1
Draw a whale or big fish shape on coloured card and cut it out. Cut a square hole in the middle of it. 
Draw and colour Jonah on some white paper or card and cut him out.
Use a clear plastic pouch or two squares of cling film to hold your Jonah. Cut it to size and stick it to the hole in your fish. 
You can now see Jonah in the belly of the fish!

Jonah in the fish 2
Imagine you are Jonah inside the fish. Think of a prayer that you would like to ask God. Jonah's prayer in Jonah chapter 2 started 'Lord God HELP!...' 
You can write your prayer down if you like, say it out loud or just whisper it to yourself.

Talk about the way God hears our prayers even in the deepest, darkest places. 

8 Salt dough fishes. 

Salt dough fish

Salt dough fish 2

Salt dough fish 3
Mix together 1 part salt to 2 parts plain flour. Add water to make a stiff dough. 
Roll out to about 5mm thick and use a dinner knife to cut out fish shapes. Bake in microwave for 30 seconds at a time until they have hardened and dried out. 
Leave to cool then paint. Coat with varnish, clear drying glue or clear nail varnish if you want to keep them for a long time.

9 Follow my leader
Play a game of Follow my Leader or Simon Says.

Talk about how Jonah was asked by God to go to Ninevah but he didn't want to. What sort of things do you need to do but don't want to?
Do we want to go where God wants us to go? Do we follow God?

10 Reflection Time
Jonah had gifts of speaking and teaching - that's why God asked him to speak to the people in Ninevah. What are your gifts? What are you good at? If you aren't sure ask someone!
Write or draw a list of all your different gifts and how you could use them to share God's love with others.

Talk about how sportspeople have to work incredibly hard to reach a level to represent their country at the Olympics or to play football for a professional team. Yes, they are gifted, but it also takes hard work and commitment.
God gives us the gifts, but it's up to us develop them and put them to good use. How do you improve and build your gifts?

11. Fishy food. 

fishy food
What is your favourite fish dish? Why not plan and enjoy a fish themed meal. 
You could make a tuna pasta salad or a tuna pasta bake, homemade fish cakes or a fish finger butty. 
If you don't like fish you could make sandwiches cut into fish shapes or fish shaped biscuits (see recipe below). 

Fish shaped biscuits

fish biscuits

250g plain flour
30g cocoa powder
200g cold butter, diced
100g icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
2 egg yolks

Preheat the oven to 200C/180 C Fan/Gas Mark 6

Place the flour, cocoa powder and butter in a bowl and rub together with your fingertips until it makes fine crumbs. Stir in the icing sugar then add the vanilla and egg yolks. Bring the mixture together with your hands until it all binds to a dough. Chill for 30 mins.

Roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface and using a cutter or a knife cut into fish shapes.

Place the biscuits on a greased baking sheet and bake for 8-10 mins until just firm. Allow the biscuits to cool for 5 mins then remove from the tray and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Then decorate anyway you choose. We used glace icing (icing sugar and water mixed together) and sprinkles.

June Messy Church - Bible Overview
Big Bible Timeline
Create a big artwork piece telling the big story of the Bible. You could include images of creation, Noah, Joseph, Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus (his birth, life, death and resurrection), Pentecost, churches (including our Messy Church), Jesus’ return in glory. See below for more details on these stories.
Talk about the fact that the Bible is made up of lots of different books and lots of different stories. We often just look at one of these at a time. But there is also a bigger overarching story of God’s love for us. Where can you see God’s love in the different parts of the timeline?
Bible Kim’s Game
Place the objects on a table. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the items, just use what you have. Give people 30 seconds to look at all the different objects on the table and try to remember as many as they can. After 30 seconds cover up the objects with a cloth and get them to list as many of the objects as they can remember.
When they have listed all the objects they can, remove the cloth and go through the different objects explaining how they all link to the big story of the Bible.
•    Globe (keyring /ball): God created the world.
•    Toy boat: People turned their backs on God so he sent a flood. Noah and his family, who had continued to trust God, were saved on an ark, along with animals.
•    Star: God promised Abraham and Sarah that their descendants would be as many as the stars in the sky, and that one of them would be Jesus. Abraham and Sarah had to wait a long time, but they remained faithful and God kept his promise.
•    Rainbow-coloured object: Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers and had to go through lots of hard times, including prison. Even in tough times God was there with Joseph and used him to save his people.
•    Staff/stick: God’s people became slaves in Egypt, but God used Moses to rescue his people and lead them to the promised land. God turned Moses’ staff into a snake to show that he had sent Moses, and when Moses held up his staff God parted the Red Sea.
•    Map: God’s people travelled for 40 years across the desert before they reached the promised land, but God was with them all that time.
•    Slingshot/catapult: David was a shepherd boy but God chose him to be king of God’s people. He defeated the enemy Goliath with just a slingshot and a small rock.
•    Crown: After David there were lots of different kings and prophets to help lead God’s people. Some of them were good and of them were bad.
•    Baby doll: God sent his only son, Jesus, to live on earth as a human. Mary and Joseph were his parents and he was born in a stable in Bethlehem.
•    Plasters/bandages: Jesus did lots of amazing things while he was alive. Crowds of people gathered to listen to his teaching wherever he went. He also did many miracles, including healing people if they were sick.
•    Cross: Jesus died on the cross and rose to life again three days later. This was so that we could be forgiven for our sins and so that we could have a way to draw close to God again because all the things that we had done wrong were blocking the way between us and God.
•    Candle: After Jesus went back to be with his Father in heaven, he sent us a gift: the Holy Spirit. God’s presence lives in us through the Holy Spirit and helps us. When the Holy Spirit first came to the disciples, he appeared as a gust of wind and a flame upon their heads.
•    Lego figures: After Jesus had gone back to heaven to be with his Father, the disciples continued teaching other people what Jesus had taught them. And the good news about Jesus spread all around the world.
•    Messy Church splat: Although Messy Church itself is not in the Bible we are part of its big story because we are part of the wider community of the worldwide church. Jesus promised he will return one day, and so we are preparing for this as we learn more about Jesus.
•    Gold object: Jesus will return and all those who believe in him will live in the new creation with God forever. We don’t know what heaven will be like but the Bible gives us some ideas: there will be no pain, sadness or sickness; in a vision John (a disciple and one of the gospel writers) saw streets paved with gold!
Talk about which part of the story is your favourite? Why?
Pipe cleaner story telling

Shape four pipe cleaners into pencil toppers: a heart, an ‘X’, a cross and a question mark. With these four symbols we can tell the whole history of the Bible. (These symbols come from the 4 points Initiative, visit for more information.
Heart – God loves me (creation)
‘X’ – I have sinned (I have turned away from God)
Cross – But, because God loves me, he sent his Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for me so I could be forgiven.
? – It’s your decision: would you like to say yes to Jesus and follow him? And yes to his invitation of forgiveness and eternal life?
Talk about how you could show people that you love them.

One Bible for all

The Bible was originally written in Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic but now it is translated into hundreds of different languages.
Look up the Bible verse John 3:16. In English (New International Version) this is ‘God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.’
Look this verse up and write it out in a variety of different languages e.g. ancient Greek, Hebrew, French, Spanish, Italian, Mandarin (Chinese), Arabic, Romanian, Polish, Japanese.  Websites for doing this are or

You could work with a friend and to try guess what language each other’s verses are written in. Although these languages all look different, they all say the same thing: we all share the same Bible. God loves everyone equally no matter what language we speak.
Talk about how everyone has the same Bible but the different translations mean that more people are able to understand it. Have you ever tried learning a new language? Was it hard? Imagine if we didn’t have the Bible in our own language and had to try to read it in another language!

Sticky tape rings. 

You will need clear sticky tape and scissors. Have a look and see what else you have got at home to make your ring. You could use ribbon, patterned/coloured tape, tiny bits of coloured paper from a magazine or leaflet. You could decorate the finished ring with jewel stickers, scrunched up foil or beads.
Rings are symbols of promises and the Bible is full of promises which God has made to his people. And God always keeps his promises, just like a ring has no end.
Talk about why people wear rings. Do you always keep the promises you make? Do you think it is important to keep promises? 

King of kings crowns

Jesus is called lots of things in the Bible and one of those names is the King of kings. There were lots of different kings in the Bible, some good and some not so good, but Jesus is the true king.
Cut a length of card to fit round your head and then staple or Sellotape it together to make the base of your crown. Then bend three pipe cleaners in half and fasten them to the card to make the points of the crown. Wrap the card and pipe cleaners in foil to make your crown entirely silver.
Talk about what you think it means when Jesus is called the King of kings. What do you think it is like to be a king?

One book many treasures

Take some different fruits and make a face, fruit kebabs or a fruit salad. Different fruits taste and look very different but they are all still fruits. Enjoy eating your creation!
The Bible is one book, but it is made up of lots of different books inside. Each book is different, but they are all important and special. They all teach us something about God.
The books of the Bible are written by different people and in different styles, but they are all the word of God.
Talk about what makes a fruit a fruit. Which is your favourite fruit and why? Do you or someone you know have a favourite book of the Bible?

God speaks to us in different ways

God speaks to people in lots of different ways throughout the Bible, and he still speaks to us today. Choose a Bible verse and one of these different forms of communication and try to pass the message onto someone else.
•    Sign language
•    Mime
•    Walkie-talkie
•    Megaphone
•    Paper aeroplane
Talk about how you like to communicate with people. Talking? On the phone? Skype? In person? Has God ever spoken to you?

Balloon powered cars

In the Bible we are instructed to spread the good news about Jesus around the world. Make one of these balloon powered cars or planes and see how far you can make it travel.
You could use lego or kinex to build your car or see this video to make one from plastic bottle lids, straws, an old biro, cardboard and of course a balloon! They work better on hard floors rather than carpet and the empty tube of the biro helps to direct the air.
Talk about what you would say if someone asked you who Jesus is.

May Messy Church - Safe and Sound
This month’s activities are based on the story of The Lost Sheep. This is a story that Jesus told. You can find it in a bible in Luke Chapter 15 verses 1-7 if you have one at home or read an online version here.
Why not send us some photos of your creations to display on our website? You can email them to us or use Twitter (include @stannsw in your tweet) or Instagram (include #stannsw in your post) to share them with us. We look forward to seeing them.
Sheep Pen
Roll old newspapers or magazines to form a tube and secure with sticky tape to form paper ‘sticks’ or use real twigs that you find on your daily walk.  Attach these together to create a secure sheep pen and put a cuddly toy sheep, or the Sheep money box - see below (or other soft toy) inside.
Talk about the way the shepherd keeps the sheep in the pen to keep them safe from harm.
Scavenger Hunt

Hunt around your home to see if you can find something beginning with each letter of the words ‘Good Shepherd’.
Talk about how God is a ‘Good Shepherd’ to us and looks after us.
Sheep money boxes
Use a small clean plastic drinks or milk bottle to make a sheep. Cover the bottle with cotton wool or an old white sock. Use black paper or card to make a sheep face or colour in cardboard from an empty box or packet. If you want to make it into a money box cut a coin sized slot in the bottle beforehand and make sure this remains uncovered. If you don’t have an empty plastic bottle try using the tube from a kitchen roll or toilet roll.
Talk about how we keep things safe that are valuable to us.
Lego marble maze
Use Lego to construct a maze on the base board testing that you can roll a marble or small ball through the maze as you go. Swap mazes with another family member – can you get the marble all the way through?
Talk about a time when we felt or were lost. How were we found again?
Safe in his arms
Draw a pair of arms on a large sheet of paper as in the picture. Cut out photos of yourself and your family and add them to the picture, showing that you are held in the arms of God, the shepherd. Take a few moments to sit by your picture and reflect on what this means.
Talk about how it feels to know that God is holding us safe in his arms.
Sheep Pebble
Choose a smooth round pebble and use paint or marker pens to create a pebble sheep. Keep your pebble to remind you of the story of the lost sheep.
Talk about why you think the sheep got lost. What different reasons do we have for finding ourselves far from God?
Safe at Home
Draw a picture of your home with your family safe inside. Write ‘Safe at Home’ in large letters across the top. Work together to colour and decorate your picture. Put it some where everyone in your house can see it or display it in your window.
Talk about how the shepherd celebrated when he found his lost sheep and brought it home to keep it safe. Talk about how staying at home can protect us at the moment.


Father God, we thank you that no matter what we do or where we go, you are always with us, looking out to keep us safe and sound. Amen

Earlier Easter activities
Who did Jesus die for?
Write these words on a sheet of paper and colour and decorate them. Fix the words on a mirror in your house. Then every time you look in the mirror you will see the answer. Jesus died for YOU. Jesus loved us so much that he died for you and me, so that we can be put right with God.

Plant and Cross: Jesus is buried

Find two twigs and fasten them together in the shape of a cross with string or an elastic band. Place in a plant pot at one side. One with a bulb would be ideal or a plant that is just beginning to grow. A bulb seems lifeless and we remember Jesus dying for us on the cross and being buried. But this was not the end! New life emerges from the bulb or the plant will grow and flower. Likewise, Jesus overcame death, rose again and brings new life to us.

Butterfly Prayers: Jesus is risen

Draw or print a butterfly, colour and decorate it. Write a thank you prayer to Jesus on the back. When Jesus appeared to his friends after rising from the dead, they did not recognise him at first until he called them by name. Jesus calls us by name too. He knows us, even when we may not recognise him. The butterfly has also emerged from an empty tomb, or chrysalis, and is a reminder to us of the new life we have through Jesus.

Decorated Eggs

Decorate hard boiled eggs or egg-shaped pieces of paper. Eggs remind us of new life. Jesus died so that we can have new life through him.
A Slide show
A slide show to remind you of some of the activities we have been doing at Messy Church.

Some of the songs we enjoy singing





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