Messy Church September 2020

The Lighthouse at Home Sunday 28th September 2020

Story: The Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37)

Activity instructions

You will need: paper or card (white and/or coloured), magazines, scissors, glue stick (or PVA and brushes) some pens and pencils, crayons of felt tips

Here’s a video…

Activity 1: Make a video of you and your family acting out the story. Gather together all the props you can find around your house and have fun and be creative as you make your video. Perhaps you could share it with family and friends using email, what’s app or your preferred method for sharing.

Activity 2: Make a word picture of all the ways we can help people and the people that help us. This picture may also contain drawings or pictures cut from magazines. You might like to do this digitally instead. Have a brainstorming session as a family thinking about these questions, ‘What are the things we do to help people? Who are the people that help us?’ and then create your picture. You could all do individual pictures on an A4 sheet or stick some A4 pages together and make a bigger family picture. As you work you might like to think about what ways you could be extra helpful at this time and/or how you might thank the people who help you.

Activity 3: Make something to give to someone who is lonely and needs to know they are being thought about and cheered up. It might be a card, a gift of some sort, a cake, write a letter… it could be anything you know the person would like and appreciate. While you are busy being creative you might like to talk about the people you know or to think about the things you do together that are special.

Activity 4: A picture to show who our neighbour is. Cut out a heart shape on paper or card. Stick some A4 pages together to make the heart as big as you like. Print out a map of the world (the sample uses one from or you could draw it freehand. You could also colour your map. Cut lots of pictures of people out from magazines. You could also draw some people you know or add some photos to your picture. Print out or write out Luke 10:27* (you can find it at and read it in several translations and see which you like the best)  Take your heart and stick the map onto it and them stick the Bible verse and pictures of people all around the map and you might also put some on the map. As you work talk about how our neighbours are not just the people who live close by us but all the people we meet or come in contact with. In this story Jesus told us to treat each person we meet with kindness and to help them in the way they need help.

*The version I used was from The New Living Translation: The man answered, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind. And love your neighbour as yourself.’ Luke 10:27

Here’s Some Some songs

Alpha Course – in person & Online starting soon

The new roadmap for COVID-19 recovery in Ireland has been released, and while it does give us some sense of where we are going with the autumn upon us, for many challenges remain.

Schools are back with all the hopes and worries that entails for so many. How are you coping with all the stresses and strains of the uncertain times? Maybe now is a good time as the evenings draw in to see if you can make sense of things with us in a safe place using the Alpha Course?

We offer a place of trust and respect for differing views, a place of conversation about the big questions of life, a place to explore the role of faith and find hope through it all. The Alpha course ( has been run millions of times throughout the world, including here in Ireland, and millions have found it a great starting point to find some answers to those big questions. How much more is it needed now! While Alpha suggests a framework based on the Christian perspective, any and all opinions are welcome!

Here in the Carraig Centre we’ll be hosting the next 10 week course in our newly refurbished, spacious, well ventilated building, fully COVID compliant with your help. We will also be hosting an on-line version using Zoom for those who prefer to stay isolated due to the prevailing COVID challenges.

A typical evening starts with a welcome to all, followed by a 25-30 minute video exploring in dynamic, globally orientated fashion the basics of Christian faith, and then we break into small groups for refreshment and discussion of any issues that arise from the video or anything else that is relevant to you in these times we live in.

The course is free, starts Thursday October 8th at 730PM and is open to adults of all faiths and none. Further info and book a place from Theresa at 087 221 2551 or or The Carraig Centre 021 487 7260. Alternatively you can add your name in the form below (if you are reading this in a printed version this page is at If you wish to join the on-line session please indicate in the form and a link will be sent to you.

Messy Church June

Messy Church June

Messy Church has now been Running in Blarney for 11 years – this is our second Online Messy Church – do check out the videos , story, activities etc below. All are welcome 🙂

Resources needed for today’s activities

Flour, sugar, margarine, eggs, icing sugar & decorations for the cake activity 

Card, glue sticks, scissors, felt pens, paper, bucket, coins, permanent marker and some coins

Activity 1: Cake making and decorating

Make a cake (could be cupcake size) and decorate it for the 11th Birthday. You might even use a candle. (Recipe for cake and icing below or use your favourite ones!) Take a picture and send it to and we will put the pictures up on the Lighthouse Facebook page for everyone to see (so no faces in the photos please!) These would make a lovely dessert for your party meal!

The Father in the story just had to have a big party when his son returned because he loved him so much and was just so happy to have him back. Who are the people you love? How do you show love to them? How do you show love to those outside your family? Is there something you could do as a family to show love to someone who is lonely or sad at this time?

Activity 2: ‘I Love you this much’ card  

idea from

Draw around your hands onto card and cut them out. You could use the same or different colours for each hand! Then cut a long strip of card and fold it concertina style. On the front hand of your card write ‘I love you’ and on the strip of folded card write ‘this much’. Then stick the strip to the back of the card which says I love you and then place the other hand with thumbs together and stick the strip to the inside of the second hand. You could give this to your Dad, or uncle, or grandfather or … for Father’s Day. You could make more than one and give them to other people too.

The younger son in the story knew he had really messed up. But his Father still loved him. It doesn’t tell us in the Bible if the younger son told his Father he loved him. It is really good for us to tell those that love us that we love them. 

Activity 3: Party food and decorations

Create some party food together and decorations for the table and have a party together. Decide what party food/meal you would like to create and assign activities for each person or work as a team. Here is one idea for the table: Each person creates a placemat from an A4 piece of paper covered with drawings and/or words of all the things you want to thank God for. You could also dress up and put on some music and dance to it either before or after your food/meal.

The Father was so happy that his son was back safe and well that he decided to have a party to celebrate. He had his servants give his son the best clothes available and cook the best food and they all had a great big party together. God loves us just like the father in the story. We all do wrong things but it doesn’t matter how small or big they are God still loves us and wants us to come to him and say sorry just like the son in the story said sorry to his father. You could write ‘thank you God you love me’ on your placemat. What else will you say thank you for?

Activity 4: Coin throwing game

Put a mark on the base of the bucket in the middle on the inside (use permanent or waterproof marker) Now put some water in the bucket and see if you can drop a coin onto the mark in the bucket. (It is very unlikely that you will be able to do this!)

In the story the younger son wasted all the money he was given. But the older son thought he had done all the correct things and was acting in the best way and so was so angry when his father gave a party. But no matter how ‘good’ we are there is no way we can ever be as good or holy as God is, which means we are never perfect like God is which is a bit like how no matter how careful we are when we drop the coin it probably won’t hit the mark. Just like we won’t ever hit the mark of being perfect and holy like God. 

Recipe for cake 

4 oz margarine, 4 oz sugar, 6 oz self-raising flour and 2 eggs

Cream the flour and margarine together. Add the eggs and beat. Then add half the flour and beat it and finally add the rest of the flour and stir it in until it is all well mixed. Place the mixture in a well-greased tin with a piece of baking parchment on the base and put in a pre-heated oven at 180degrees for approximately 30 minutes. Or you can put the mixture in cupcake cases and the cooking time will be approximately 10-15 minutes. 

This mixture will make approximately 15 cupcakes or one 2cm deep cake in a 20cm tin

Water icing: mix icing sugar and a small amount of water to make a thick paste. You can add food colouring if you wish. Spread the icing on the cupcakes or cake and decorate as you would like with small sweets or any cake decorations you may have.

A Pastoral Letter from Bishop Paul Colton

A Pastoral Letter from the Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton,

Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross

to the United Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross

When I sent you my pastoral guidance on 16th March requesting that, in response to the CoronaVirus crisis, we, like other dioceses of the Church of Ireland, close our church buildings, my prime concern was the safety and well-being of everyone.  This was your concern also, I know.

Much has happened since then; there have been many changes, challenges and, for too many people, tragedies.  In my monthly letter in the Diocesan Magazine published yesterday, I extended sympathy, not only to the loved ones of all those who have died of COVID-19, but also to everyone who has been bereaved during this pandemic, while also assuring those who have been ill or whose lives have been upheaved, of our prayers.

May I take this opportunity, once again, as your Bishop, to thank you most sincerely, for the ways in which you have responded to this crisis.  Your faithfulness, commitment, energy, determination, inventiveness, self-sacrifice, generosity and compassion have all been inspiring and humbling to witness.

The time approaches now when, subject to the public health advice and the public health situation generally, we can begin to look forward to the reopening, progressively, of our church buildings at some stage after 20th July.  This is good news and let us anticipate it with joy and hope, rejoicing that, although things will be very different for a time, we can begin to be in community together again as Christians.

Later today, or tomorrow, clergy and select vestries will receive information from the Church of Ireland about what is required in order to reopen church buildings.  The protocol that will be circulated is based on the Government’s two documents – the Roadmap for Reopening Society and  Business and the Return to Work Safely Protocol – both of which have been explained, and the practical implications set out,  in such a way that is specific to our church settings. 

I know that, in this Diocese, the responsibilities required of us all will be addressed and put into place with pragmatism and commitment; that is our tradition here in Cork, Cloyne and  Ross.

In  anticipation  of  the arrival of that protocol, I want first to underline a few key principles:

  • Safety: This is still about keeping everyone safe.  We do not want, either by our actions or omissions, to put one another or those who join us at risk.
  • Personal responsibility:  A message that we must keep highlighting for everyone is that each person must also take personal responsibility, first, not to come to church if  we or  anyone in our household has COVID-19 or has the symptoms of COVID-19; and second, to share in  the responsibility of making and keeping our church buildings safe places during the current times.
  • Three core areas: Church buildings are no different from any other place in the community in that the three core areas will apply to us too, all of which are mentioned in the new protocol:
    • Social or physical distancing in accordance with public health advice. This may mean that some buildings have a maximum capacity which has to be taken account of.  It will mean changes to our usual ways of gathering and seating. 
    • Hand hygiene
    • Respiratory hygiene
  • The new ‘normal’: When we reopen it will not be ‘business as usual’.  We will all need to be accommodating, flexible and  purposeful; determined to get this right for everyone’s sake as well as for the long term good of the people, churches and parishes in our Diocese. 
  • Step by step reopening.  It may also be both necessary and prudent, according to local circumstances and logistics not ‘to bite off more than we can chew’ at first, and to open our buildings progressively, one by one, over a period of time. We have to take into account also the situations of those available to take the large number of Church Services in our Diocese each Sunday.
  • The bare basics: The protocol that you will receive will encompass the basics and essentials needed just to get the building open and in use.  Further advice is in the pipeline and will follow soon about other core concerns such as Holy Communion, Holy Baptism, Funerals, and weekday opening for private prayer and visitors.  There are also some areas where additional advice is needed and is being sought, such as about singing. 
  • The unknown:  There are still many uncertainties and unknowns. We live in a time when there is a lot of conjecture and speculation in the public space as well as mutually exclusive views being articulated by experts. There are political and economic pressures from many directions. It can seem confusing.  We need, therefore, to be on our toes and ready to respond to changes in the public health advice as time goes on.   

So, dear friends, let us, as faithful followers of our Lord Jesus Christ, continue to walk the path of faith, hope and love.  In all of this (as I have tried to do, I hope, so far) I pledge to stand alongside each of our clergy and our parishes, and to give of myself, in whatever practical ways I can, for as long as the good Lord gives me life and strength to do so.  May he grant us all those gifts and all that we need to do what needs to be done in these times in which we live.

I end this letter as I ended that on 16th March.  I pray that the Lord God who has been with our forebears throughout the ages, including at times of great uncertainty and danger, in being with us all now too, will give us fortitude and calm, wisdom and perseverance, and enable us to live in the Christian way of faith, hope and love.  Amen.

With prayerful good wishes,

✞ Paul Cork: