St Paul's Cathedral took a gamble with its whitewashed walls and polished floors earlier this month when it invited in children from across London to take part in a very special Messy Church.
Messy Church started at St Wilfrid's, Cowplain, in 2004, with the simple idea of letting children and their parents get messy with paints and glue before a time of age-appropriate worship.
It was founded by Lucy Moore as a way of reaching out to people who would not normally attend church and is now held in thousands of churches across 20 countries.
Earlier this month, Messy Church scaled up a notch when St Paul's Cathedral hosted a Messy Cathedral day with children and families from Messy Churches across London.
In addition to crafts, the children were treated to fun experiments, music performances and storytelling in the 300-year-old cathedral.
Tom Daggett, musician at the cathedral, led a music workshop giving families the chance to put their singing skills to the test in the charming surroundings of the OBE Chapel.
A storyteller drew on the beauty of the cathedral's incredible mosaic quire to engage children in the creation story.
Messy Church volunteers ran activity tables in both the north and south transepts, with helpers also coming from Westminster Abbey, the Jewish Museum and the Methodist Church.
Under the iconic dome, children took part in creative prayer for the world and God's creation. They also tied ribbons onto a prayer tree to represent the places they were praying for.
The day ended with a special Messy Eucharist presided over by Bishop Sarah Mullally during which participants from the music workshops led everyone in singing a hymn.
Sam Donoghue, head of Children and Youth for the Diocese of London, said: 'Messy Cathedral is a great opportunity for children and families to encounter God in amazing surroundings, as well as helping them to realise that they are part of a wider church family.'