Melanie Prince, a team vicar in the Vale of Glamorgan, tells how a mission shaped ministry course inspired the launch of a monthly Messy Church called SPLAT.

SPLAT - smileI did msm South Wales in 2009-2010. It was timely for us to do it as Llantwit Major Benefice has nine churches, three clergy and three Readers! It gave us the kick start to do things, providing a reason to stop delaying and get on with it.

We started a Messy Church fairly early on in the course. This happened because the churchwardens came and said,

We used to have a thriving church with families. How do we get families back in again?

Their approach coincided with us having started msm and it meant we had some ideas to pull on.

SPLAT - boxIn a new atmosphere of optimism, I started the Messy Church at St James' Wick, which I ran for its first 18 months before handing it over.

SPLAT continues to prosper and monthly all-age worship in church now attracts a good number of people as well. The fresh expression has been successful in itself but it has also had an impact on the main church.