Beautiful Valentine’s Day cards made by our Messy Church congregation for people who might live on their own or are unwell this week. It reminds me of the importance of community and togetherness in a city that is said to be one of the loneliest in the world.
Olivia Laing, author of The Lonely City recently said: “Cities can be lonely places, and in admitting this we see that loneliness doesn’t necessarily require physical solitude, but rather an absence or paucity of connection, closeness, kinship: an inability to find as much intimacy is desired.”
Over fifty people, most of whom I’ve never seen before, trekked through the thunderstorm to come to our simple Messy Church on “loving your neighbour” today. Adults and children, from 0 – 90, made lots of mess, wrestled with the story of the Good Samaritan, and ate lots of jacket potatoes with heaps of beans and cheese. Churches are often places where people of different ages, cultures and backgrounds are linked by very little other than a shared discovery of something of God and each other. We have people of different faiths, backgrounds, colours, ages and lifestyles coming to Messy Church and, for me, it is a reminder that, even in lonely cities, Churches can be safe places of closeness, kinship and connection.