Roll Up to One of the UK’s Biggest Messy Churches

Hundreds of people are set to roll up to Rheged  for some circus-themed, free fun at Cumbria’s biggest Messy Church.

On Sunday 3 February the venue near Penrith – one of Cumbria’s largest visitor attractions – will open its doors to activities, crafts, music, workshops and celebrations all organised by a special ‘Messy Cumbria’ team.

Messy Church is a way of being church for families involving fun, creativity, celebration and hospitality and is primarily aimed at people who don’t have connections with any form of church. Sarah Hulme, the Children, Families and Young People’s Evangelism Enabler for the Reach team which is part of the cross-denominational God for All strategy – is overseeing the event.

 She said: “The event is based around the circus big top and will give everyone the opportunity to celebrate their unique gifts and talents. It’s our prayer that by taking part in the activities on offer, people will see it is God’s plan that we’re all designed to shine. There’ll be loads of different workshops and people can book places online now so they can plan their day ahead of time – and it’s all for free! We’re thrilled that Rheged has agreed to host this Messy Church for a second year running and can’t thank the team there enough for the support they’ve provided.”

The Big Top Party: Messy Rheged will include 15 minute workshops throughout the day on street dance, circus skills, creating with wood, vocal skills as well as an animal antics zone.

Last year Rheged hosted its first Messy Church event as part of the county-wide Moving Mountains mission, attended by leaders from the Church of England, Methodist Church, United Reformed Church and Salvation Army. More than 2,000 people took part, making it one of the biggest Messy Churches ever to be staged in the UK.  This year organisers are hoping for even more visitors with the Bishop of Carlisle, the Rt Rev James Newcome, also dropping in to Messy Rheged which runs from 11am to 3pm.

Bishop said: “Last year’s event was one which created a real buzz of excitement. There was plenty of laughter, fun and celebration and I’m thrilled to be going back again for more. I hold this event up to God as an opportunity to reach new people in new ways and grow his Kingdom here in Cumbria and beyond.”

To book a workshop slot visit


Pic caption: Stilt walker Jem Maynard-Watts is pictured at Messy Rheged 2018 with, from the left, the Rev Mike Talbot, Evangelism Enabler, and the Rt Rev James Newcome, the Bishop of Carlisle.

​For further information please contact Dave Roberts, Diocesan Communications Manager, on 07469 153658, 01768 807764 or at

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