A Book for Bringing Science Experiments to Churches

Messy Church Does Science is a resource offering churches the tools to use science to explore aspects of the Christian faith, with 100 ideas from a range of contributors. These aim to demonstrate that science and faith are complementary, and enable children and adults alike to appreciate the wonder of creation. Read the review from ISCAST fellow Patsy Robertson.

Messy Church Does Science
by David Gregory (ed.)
The Bible Reading Fellowship: Abingdon, UK: 2017; 272 pages
ISBN: 9780857465795, 1st edition, A5 spiral-bound paperback

Editor David Gregory, the Senior Minister at Croxley Green Baptist Church in the United Kingdom, has a background in physics, astronomy, meteorology, and climate science, and regularly leads a Messy Church Science Lab. He has a passion for using science creatively to help people encounter God, to worship him, and to grow in their relationship with him. Nineteen other contributors, including Alister McGrath, have worked or are currently working in the science field.

This text is written for anyone involved in Christian ministry, particularly those working with children, whether they have a science background or not. Although it is written with the “messy church” style in mind, including a mix of adults or children, these experiments could be incorporated into any children’s ministry program and take about 20 to 25 minutes to complete.

I am inspired by this book and would love to be doing some of these experiments in church.


The book includes 100 experiments, each graded according to “mess,” “danger,” and “difficulty.” They are grouped into 10 chapters under the themes: water; earth, space, and stars; air; light and colour; human body; plants; animals; power and energy; transformations and reactions; and time and measurement. Each experiment, covered in two pages, includes: the equipment needed, the method in sufficient detail to perform, a section on the science behind the experiment, and concludes with a “big question” section providing links to Bible stories or passages, the church year, and some suggestions for discussion or prayer. Each chapter begins with an introduction to the chapter theme from one of the contributing writers and ends with a perspective piece written by a working scientist.

The book ends with an index to the activities, to themes, and to relevant Bible passages. Additional material and pictures can be downloaded from the Messy Church website.

Messy Church Does Science is engaging and easy to read. Its purpose is to have science become part of worship and learning in church rather than estranged from it.

I am inspired by this book and would love to be doing some of these experiments in church when we have some children showing up. Or maybe we should just do some together as adults to encourage ourselves to think and to have fun together as church.

Patsy Robertson

Associate Professor Patsy Robertson is soon to retire as a radiologist from the Royal Melbourne Hospital but will continue in an honorary capacity there and at the University of Melbourne due to ongoing research projects. Praying and working with her local church community towards revival and farming interests—including soil health, and plant, animal, and fungal diversity—will occupy her after that.