The last Helensburgh Messy Church session for this term was all about Zacchaeus – the little man featured in one of the best-known stories in the Bible because of his efforts to climb a tree to see over the crowds in order to catch sight of Jesus.

Children taking part in the session, held at the United Reformed Church in West Princes Street, enjoyed making ‘sponge prints’ of trees as well as creating edible trees made out of rice crispies and chocolate finger biscuits.

Running once a month across the autumn, winter and spring, Messy Church sessions in Helensburgh, and elsewhere, provide a creative space for families to have fun together.

Elizabeth Lambert, a member of the Messy Church team in Helensburgh, said: “The food craft is usually the most popular, followed by the opportunity to use the drums during song time.

“The session concludes with a light lunch together and everything is free, although donations are welcome.”

Messy Church sessions are not unique to Helensburgh: in fact they started in another ‘Navy town’, Portsmouth in Hampshire, 10 years ago, and have now spread worldwide to countries including Australia, Ireland, Canada, the USA, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, New Zealand and South Africa.

The Helensburgh Messy Church sessions are run by the Helensburgh United Reformed Church, St Michael and All Angels’ Church in William Street, and Helensburgh Parish Church, and welcomes people from all churches or none to participate.

There are also Messy Churches locally in Cardross, Garelochhead and Rosneath and families of all ages are most welcome, all children must have an adult with them. The monthly Helensburgh sessions will resume in September.