Messy Mass and Blaze Praise in Cirencester
Djokovic and Federer were battling it out on centre court, but that didn’t stop families from coming to Messy Mass at St John the Baptist Cirencester.
Gathering by the font we remembered our baptism and our life with Jesus.
We said sorry to God for the things we have done wrong and Fr Gary liberally dipped a bunch of rosemary into the water and gave us all a good sprinkling, reminding us of God’s love and forgiveness.
But where was Fr Leonard escaping to?
Not to worry the children sprinkled him too, once we had processed through the church to the pulpit singing as we went.
The service continued in this way leading the families (and some tourists!) all through the church to the areas where we hear God’s word, our prayers are expressed, God’s peace is shared and Jesus is remembered in the bread and wine of Holy Communion.
It was a real joy to be part of an act worship which included a story telling meercat, giant Jenga bricks, and building prayers for other people on Jesus solid rock, but was completely authentic to the inclusive tradition at St. John the Baptist.
This wasn’t the end of the story, no sooner had all the squash and biscuits disappeared than another 18 children arrived in the church, ‘Sing It!’ the children’s choir had arrived to rehearse for ‘ Blaze Praise’ service of healing and wholeness at 6 p.m.
The service, which promised to engage our senses, began with a healthy cloud of incense, guided us through the feel of sand on our fingertips, the glow of light from candles and the singing of children which we heard with our ears and our hearts – the sensory experiences concluded very satisfactorily with chocolate swiss roll.
Through the liturgy, and Fr Howard’s talk, we were encouraged to consider obstacles that might be in our way before we can reach out to touch Jesus, and to open ourselves to the possibility of God’s healing and wholeness in our lives.
This was a new departure for Blaze, the Youth Group and was put together by them under the thoughtful leadership of Hugo Kennard who became their Youth Leader at Easter.
Once again this was a very interactive and inclusive service which was completely true to the worshipping life of St. John’s.
All ages were represented from tiny babes in arms to the more senior generation. I am sure that, like me, everyone came away with more than the piece of fabric we were given to represent Jesus cloak and felt able to reach our hands out just a bit further towards him.