THE Holy Ascension Church, on the A435 in Mappleborough Green, is celebrating its 125th anniversary by opening its doors to new families wishing to try a different type of church service.

By introducing the national concept of Messy Church to the Sunday morning worship on the second Sunday of each month from February, it will offer a fresh new way of experiencing church.

Breaking from the more formal traditional service, Messy Church gets everyone participating in crafts, playing a game, learning about Jesus and sharing brunch.

Associate minister, the Rev Judy Stote, said: “It all has a feel of energy and excitement that will hopefully attract people. Vicar and priest-in charge, the Rev David Silvester, has had previous experience of Messy Church and the ministry is looking forward to welcoming new families from the local community."

The monthly family activity Messy Church will be held in the church hall, Ankcorn House. The white building is situated just north of the church on the A435 adjacent to the former School House, now private residencies. This was the original village school and was used up until the 1960s when the current school was built further down the road.

Fund-raising activities throughout this 125th anniversary year have also been planned, and Saturday, March 2 sees a special spring dance taking place at Mappleborough Village Hall.

Linda Salsbury, a fundraising team member and contact for Messy Church, said: “Families are warmly invited to check out Messy Church - the doors open at 9.30am. It is creating, worshipping and sharing together for two hours once a month, in addition to the more traditional Sunday services held within the main church. Children of any age are warmly invited to attend this new service; provided they bring an adult with them."

The church, designed by architect J.A. Chatwin of Birmingham, was built in memory of his first wife Mabel, and was initially opened on July 11, 1888.

For more details, call Linda Salsbury on 01527 450813.