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Home  >  News  >  'It Shows a Way Forward'

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Image: messy-church-rosskeen_cropped_734_255.jpg

'It Shows a Way Forward'

The Rev Carol Rattenbury explains how her church embraced the challenge of providing Messy Church online.


As something of a technophobe, I never expected to say that I’d been inspired by the BBC’s Click Short Edition on a Sunday morning, but that is what happened at Easter.

The article covered tech and the Church in lockdown.  At Rosskeen Parish Church, Alness, we’d learned to stream our Sunday morning services, but had put our monthly Messy Church on hold.  Click showed young people appreciating their church’s efforts to provide Sunday School and made me think, 'could we do Messy Church Online?'

A Zoom meeting later and the answer was a definite 'yes'.  Messy Church Online was arranged for May 3.  We would think of ways to still feel part of Church even though we are socially isolating in lockdown.  We devised seven crafts and activities which we hoped would appeal to a range of ages and interests.

Then came recording. We would need seven short videos for the craft section, then ones to cover the worship.  What a learning curve!  Grappling with video editing and compiling, problem solving when it refused to work and finally having a finished video to post. Thankfully we’d given ourselves sufficient time.

Despite our broadband being feeble and the upload taking three hours, you can find the stream on YouTube at Messy Church @ Rosskeen Parish Online.  More than double the numbers usually attending have viewed the stream, some possibly checking out Messy Church from a distance. 

Would we do it again? Of course we would!  And not just because the feedback has been so positive but because it shows a way forward. The challenge posed by Covid-19 has pushed us outside our routines and comfort zones and producing Messy Church has been no exception.  If Covid is an unprecedented situation (and it is), we’ll grasp this unprecedented opportunity to look for fresh ways of communicating the Gospel.


The Rev Carol Rattenbury is locum minister at Rosskeen Parish Church, Alness


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