The Messy Church International Conference 2022 will take place on Friday 20 May-Sunday 22 May 2022.
There will follow some Key International Leaders’ Days on Monday 23 May-Tuesday 24 May 2022.
What can you expect?
You can expect this weekend to make a difference to you on your own journey with Jesus and to the way you run your Messy Church. You’ll have top-quality theological input from one of the UK’s leading theologians, the author and speaker Dr Paula Gooder. You’ll have three workshop sessions to learn from other Messy Church practitioners around the world, covering a range of themes. We also have two Messy Church sessions to enjoy hands-on learning in the company of like-minded friends, young and old. There’ll be plenty of time in the programme to make space for God in reflection and worship and to spend quality time with old and new Messy friends from a range of countries. We’re delighted that the inspirational Fischy Music will be with us. The programme is being planned and delivered by an international group of Messy Church leaders of all ages from 13 upwards, so there’ll be a rich mix of opportunities for cerebral, participative, informal, hands-on, active and reflective learning in an intergenerational community.
The theme is Making a Difference and we’ll be discovering how Messy Churches focused on the kingdom of heaven can make a creative difference to our planet, to our local communities, to our churches, as well as to us ourselves!
Who is it for?
This intergenerational conference is for all Messy Church leaders and teams from anywhere in the world of any age. Whether you’re 8 or 28 or 108, if you’re on the leadership team of your Messy Church in some capacity, this conference is for you. (Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult.) The range of activities and approaches during the weekend means it will be engaging and inspiring for everyone. We delight in simply being together, learning from and with each age group and country. We also welcome those interested in learning more about Messy Church as a movement. The main language will be English and some workshops will be led in other languages with translation from helpful friends.
Come on your own – we promise you’ll soon have friends. Or come as a team of all ages – what better way to forge strong friendships across your team and be able to put new ideas into practice when you go back to your Messy Church again?
If you’ve never been on a training conference before, this conference will be a great start: you’ll be warmly welcomed, you’ll be among people who look after each other and who will be interested in you and your Messy Church; everything is on-site so once you’re there, you can just relax with everything in one place. And it will be that wonderful Messy Church combination of learning something every minute of the day in fun and engaging ways, just by hanging out with other Messy people, but also through a stimulating programme of activities – you can go to everything on offer or just one or two activities: it’s completely up to you. Full programme later, but shaped along these lines:
Friday 20 May
12:00 onwards arrivals and lunch at 13.00
Afternoon: Gathering, talk, workshops
Evening: Messy Church Sessions
Saturday 21 May
Morning: Talk, discussion groups, workshops
Afternoon: Workshops, space with meaning
Evening: International Messtivities
Sunday 22 May
Morning: Talk, discussion groups, Messy Church sessions
13.00 Lunch and depart any time up to 16.00
What’s the conference centre like?
The Hayes is a Christian conference centre in Derbyshire (more or less in the middle of England) where you’ll have a clean and comfy en-suite bedroom, beautiful grounds with space for walks and games, a clubhouse, play area and large meeting rooms – even a gym free to use for all guests. You can read about its Covid-secure accreditation and measures here. We will be the only guests, so everyone you meet will be Messy!
The Hayes is a very accessible venue. Please let us know on your booking form if you’d like to discuss particular needs, so we can make everyone fully welcome. The food is plentiful and delicious and Fairtrade coffee and tea breaks happen regularly – with so much cake. All meals and accommodation are included in the cost of your conference ticket: you just need to get yourself there. Travel directions are on the Hayes website and we will create an online space for delegates to discuss car-sharing to reduce the impact on the environment.
How much? And is it refundable?
Under 16s: £240
(You might want to consider asking your church or your denomination for a contribution towards your conference fee and travel costs in your capacity as leaders, either lay or ordained – training is such an important part of formation and ministry. Consider, too, that funding might enable more members of your team to attend with you, especially your younger leaders.)
Is it refundable if we have another wave of Covid?
Highlights from the 2019 conference
Quotations from previous conferences
‘It was just the best! I don’t think I’ve ever been to a conference that has kept on giving for two years afterwards – because let’s face it, it’s just kept on going and going, hasn’t it!’
Sandy Brodine, Australia
‘So important to get together, make friends and learn from each other. We’ll be at the next one for sure.’
Lynn Egli, USA
‘It was a truly wonderful event just bursting with joy and creativity.’
Andrew Roberts, Holy Habits
‘A great conference that resulted in friendships all over the world that has kept many of us going through this last year of isolation! Planning to attend in 2022 fully vaccinated!’
Roberta Jantzi Egli, USA
‘Such a great time! So many memories, new friends and messy fun. Can’t wait for the next one!’
Leyla Wagner, USA