2016 marks the second year of the Crook Chapel Community Outreach Programme at Hartside Primary School, Crook. At the request of the Head teacher and school governors the chapel’s Messy Church staff lead by Phil Mason, West Durham Methodist Circuit Youth and Children’s Officer, are taking, once a month after school and during term time, a Messy Church Programme to the school.
The 20 children who attended the January event heard the Old Testament story of Samson, one of the last of the judges of the ancient Israelites mentioned in the Old Testament. According to the biblical account, Samson was given supernatural strength by God in order to combat his enemies and perform heroic feats such as killing a lion, slaying an entire army with only the jawbone of an ass, and destroying a pagan temple. Samson had two vulnerabilities, however: his attraction to untrustworthy women and his hair, without which he was powerless. These vulnerabilities ultimately proved fatal for him.
After juice and biscuits the children enjoyed singing songs and taking part in numerous craft sessions including making a wig of Samson’s hair, a Samson hand puppet, making lions faces, a moving Samson’s muscles and decorating small cakes to resemble Samson’s face and hair. Parents later joined the children to hear Samson’s story, joining in the songs and prayers.
Already there is a waiting list for children to come to the school’s messy Church programme. As a result of the chapel’s visit some parents have requested baptisms for their children. The Head Teacher has requested the minister to join a team to take morning assemblies.
The regular chapel Messy Church programme (C Club) continues after school, the first Friday of the month during school term time.
Minister, St Andrew’s Dawson Street, Crook