Messy Church is a name for doing church worship in a manner which permits a certain messiness, both of structure, content, and literally of materials as, maybe, paint is spilt or clay is dropped as kinaesthetic learning takes place in a service for all ages (key site here). It is a good concept, incidentally, with parishes here in my own diocese finding Messy Church a useful means for drawing in families that otherwise might not darken the doors of the church.
But 'messy church' could usefully describe the remainder of Anglicanism around the globe in these days when the Covenant movement seems to have gone quiet, noticeably since 'No Covenant' gained the upper hand in the English debate about the Covenant, and path breaking churches such as my own resolutely refused to say 'Yes' to the Covenant. 'No' to the Covenant really does leave us in a mess, as Tony Clavier argues in a Living Church article, Bowdlerized Catholicism. With a nip and a tuck here and there what Clavier says could apply not only to his own church (TEC) but also to mine (ACANZP) and (I sense) a number of other churches around the Anglican world: even as we have taken on more and more of the styles of Roman/Anglo-catholicism (e.g. clergy wearing more robes than formerly), and even some of the words and actions (e.g. a 'catholic' way of performing our liturgies), we have steered ourselves further and further away from catholic theology, that is, an intention to find, foster and fasten on the teachings of Christ that every Christian believes everywhere. Whether we have consciously appropriated arguments from the Reformation which the Church of England developed to justify its break from Rome, or (as here in Aotearoa NZ) intentionally asserted post-colonial arguments about local ecclesial sovereignty, and whether these appropriations and assertions have been about a specific issue or about a general preservation of the way we think 'Anglicanism' should be in the Diocese of X or the Province of Y, our general contemporary trajectory has been anti-catholic. For an Anglican anywhere in the world to today to profess to be committed to the 'one, holy, catholic and apostolic' church is (at best) to beg the question what 'catholic' means. At worst such profession is nonsense speech.
To take just one matter, if global Anglicanism asks itself how we express 'sound doctrine' in terms which are coherent with some vaguely sensible understanding of 'one, holy, catholic and apostolic' church, it cannot give itself an answer. As Clavier rightly concludes,
If “No Covenant,” what? How do Anglicans express a sound doctrine of the Church without competent instruments of unity? The foes of the Covenant remain silent about that vital question."
There is a saying that if something looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck ... then it is a duck. Anglicanism is an exception to that 'rule.' We Anglicans can look like we are catholic Christian, walk like we are catholics and even quack (i.e. talk) like we are catholics (Christians, that is, believing everywhere what every Christian believes). But we are not catholic Christians: for we reserve unto ourselves the right to not believe what other Christians believe. Worse, when the Covenant gave us a shot at developing a greater coherency of doctrine on a global scale, as a needed step on the way to global Christian reunion, we have (it appears) rejected doing so.
That is a bit messy, to my way of thinking!