Diocese of ChichesterDiocese of Chichester

Parish captures vision of ‘being church’

Parish captures vision of ‘being church’

Revd Paul Matthews and his wife Zena from the parish of Chidham in West Sussex have been commended for being ‘enthusiastic kingdom builders’ for delivering an outreach project to a care home for the elderly.

Messy Vintage is much like Messy Church for adults but with an afternoon tea thrown in.

Fr Paul said: It's true to say that Messy Vintage, like Messy Church, comprised the well-known ingredients of hymns, Bible story, prayers, craft activities and afternoon tea - but that would tell only part of the story.

“The sheer joy, engagement and fellowship experienced that afternoon in Kings Lodge Nursing Home far exceeded expectations.

“We all felt truly blessed. The conversation flowed freely and there were lots of memories from childhood being shared.

"It’s such a simple and gorgeous way for the church to draw alongside the elderly where they are and we had some lovely comments from the residents."

"What a lovely way to spend an afternoon" Jack (aged 92),

"I'm speechless, it was wonderful" Brenda

Katie Norman is the Messy Vintage Co-ordinator for BRF. She said: “Paul and Zena have clearly captured the vision of 'being church' in a broader context and have embraced the opportunity to share God's love in the more relaxed and personal way that Messy Vintage offers.

"It's great and exudes such joy - that's what Messy Vintage is all about, sharing God's love in a way that is very precious.”

Rob Dillingham, Diocesan Parish Resources Officer, said: "This is a great example of innovation, we could almost say it is worship fusion – the bringing together of different ideas from different places to create something fresh and in this case retro. Paul and Zena are working hard to reach outside their church to reach the people God has given them. This is an idea that a lot of churches can work with to develop outreach within older people and I can see it really bearing fruit."

If you want to find out more about Messy Vintage for your church please contact Katie Norman