Messy Cathedral initiative celebrates its first birthday

Messy Cathedral has proved to be an incredibly popular family event
Messy Cathedral has proved to be an incredibly popular family event
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Portsmouth Cathedral will celebrate the one-year anniversary of Messy Cathedral this Saturday.

The community-orientated monthly event for families also hosts weekly mother and toddler meetings.

Messy Cathedral grew from Messy Church, which was founded by Lucy Moore, of St Wilfrid’s Church in Cowplain in the diocese of Portsmouth.

Portsmouth Cathedral was the first cathedral in the country to begin running monthly Messy Cathedral events and since then it has spread nationally to Manchester and Liverpool.

John Bolt of Portsmouth Cathedral said: ‘Families felt there were not enough opportunities based around the spiritual side of Christianity.

‘The feedback has been very good. The name Messy Church implies fun and shows that we do not take ourselves too seriously’.

Messy Church helped merge spiritual discussions with creative activities including painting feet, making iced biscuits, and a worship service.

Since starting in the diocese of Portsmouth, Mr Bolt said the project had expanded into cathedrals around the local diocese.

Sessions normally take place on Saturdays from 2pm-4pm in the cathedral nave or in Becket Hall.

It is free to attend and open to people of all ages, with or without children.

Mr Bolt said there would be special plans for the anniversary, which will include children getting involved in crafts, a special cake, and a celebration.

Around 30 children normally attend but due to the special occasion, it is estimated that 50 children will turn up on Saturday.

Mr Bolt was very proud of the project’s achievements and said: ‘It shows a great commitment to what we do, and it is a great opportunity to reach out to both younger and older children’.

The next Messy Cathedral events are on October 3, October 17, November 28 and December 12. For more information go to or contact Dawn Banting, on 07980 489658 or email