Originally published in the February 2014 issue of the now-defunct Trinity Magazine

2013 was the first year in which I was able to attend all the Messy Church sessions at Holy Trinity Church, Stevenage. At the first of which, I helped to make the giant Christingle and then I, my fellow helpers and some of the visitors helped to put the finished work of Art up on the wall.

My main focus was food preparation. The first such occasion was Easter, where I was assigned to make Easter nests. Not a problem but attracting interest from the visitors was as I was cunningly concealed behind a pillar. This situation came about due to the difficulty in finding a place for the microwave in the Main Hall. The Flames session at Pentecost was easier as the proceedings took place in the Parish Room. I was making flame-themed biscuits but cutting the shape out was difficult as I had to make a cardboard shape to work with as finding a cookie cutter proved impossible. In each case, the finish product proved popular nonetheless.

The Water session saw me produce a work of art portraying both calm and rough seas despite the paper tearing and blowing away. Once the piece was finished, the children stuck paper boats with religious messages written on them onto the picture. Because the weather was hot and clear, the proceedings took place in the Church grounds. Due to the summer holidays and other extenuating circumstances, we did not have as many visitors as usual.

It was back to food preparation for the Harvest session and having found a mouse-shaped cookie cutter by chance during a trip to Hitchin, my task was to cut out icing sugar mice and place them onto biscuits. It was almost a repetition of the flames session and once more, there was a high demand for a sample of the finished product. The Christmas session was my most successful to date. I was preparing upside-down ice-cream cones, resembling Christmas trees which proved popular to the point of several children coming at once. I somehow coped with the demand and my multi-coloured hands from handling all that roll-out icing. Supplies began to run low as well, necessitating a quick trip to Waitrose to re-stock, how do I top that I wondered? There were even more sessions scheduled for 2014 but I continued to be part of the team.

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