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To think that playgroups/toddler groups shouldn't be churchy even if they are held in a church hall?

(78 Posts)
ClaraDeLaNoche Thu 13-Aug-09 12:44:10

Right time for sweeping statements. When I lived in the city, the playgroups I went to were in church halls but there was never any pressure to join the church, or talk about religion. It was just a place to drink coffee while the kids played. But out in the sticks, the local church owns all the mums groups and they talk about beliefs and stuff. The play group leaders also tell holy stories.

Am working at home today and I can hear them all yahooing in the church hall. I have no doubt that they are having great fun and the kids love it.

However I don't want my kids to go because I don't like having this stuff shoved down my throat.

AIBU to want to use their toys and tea but not their opinions? I would add that it is not my religion, but I do have respect for churches that do stuff for the community, especially as "my" church (I say "my" but I hardly ever go) does nothing for the community.

ruddynorah Thu 13-Aug-09 12:47:01

so set one up through 'your' church.

they aren't ramming it down your throat, they're inviting you to join in.

here some of the church ones are very 'churchy' some are not. some are run by individulas just hiring the hall, others are run by, for example, the salvation army themselves.

do you have a children's centre? the groups there won't be 'churchy.'

GypsyMoth Thu 13-Aug-09 12:52:17

does it really matter in the grand scheme of things??

i mean,really? its just toddler stuff....they won't be affected by it!!

ClaraDeLaNoche Thu 13-Aug-09 12:53:24

I couldn't set one up for fear that people thought that I was churchy and trying to convert them.

No children's centre here either.

Peabody Thu 13-Aug-09 12:53:50

You are being unreasonable to want to use their toys and tea whilst complaining about their opinions.

You are not being unreasonable to want to go to a playgroup that has views you agree with.

muddleduck Thu 13-Aug-09 12:54:00

Whoever runs the group gets to decide how it is run.

Morloth Thu 13-Aug-09 12:54:43

YABU some baby/toddler groups at churches are run as part of the outreach programme for that church.

How do you know they do nothing for the community? Didn't Jesus instruct people to get on with good works quietly without yelling about it on street corners? And of course they are running baby/toddler groups.

If you don't like them, don't go - set up your own without religion if you like.

MorningTownRide Thu 13-Aug-09 12:55:53

YABU - My ex-church ran a toddler group (Greater London).

There was a bible story and I think religious songs.

There was a waiting list to attend which we jumped as we attended the church.

If it's run by the church then expect some religion.

There's something about the tone of your post that is rather unpleasant. If you don't like it, don't go. Simple as.

ClaraDeLaNoche Thu 13-Aug-09 12:56:25

Morloth I meant that my church, ie not the one with the playgroup, does not do any community activity.

MrsBadger Thu 13-Aug-09 12:57:59


have you a village hall or similar non-church affiliated space?

set up your own

Morloth Thu 13-Aug-09 12:58:25

Sorry misread.

MrsBadger Thu 13-Aug-09 12:59:03

oh well

certainly set one up at your own church

and publicise it as one with no agenda

AMumInScotland Thu 13-Aug-09 12:59:14

If the church runs them, and is open about it being "churchy" then I think that's up to them to choose, and you can go or not depending how you feel about that.

But maybe you could find some other parents in the area who don't go to those groups and arrange something with them? But I don't know how you find those families, if they don't go anywhere you can hunt them down...

itsalwaysthequietones Thu 13-Aug-09 12:59:53

I think if the church is running the playgroup they can do what the hell they like in it.

So yes, YABU to want to use their stuff but not respect the way they run the place.

As for not wanting people to thing you are 'churchy' is that really a big worry? They'd know the first time they came along wouldn't they? Or why not talk to some other non-churchy types and set something up together.

GibbonInARibbon Thu 13-Aug-09 13:00:00


Put up/shut up or don't go. Simples.

cat64 Thu 13-Aug-09 13:00:26

Message withdrawn

WriggleJiggle Thu 13-Aug-09 13:07:13

If they have set it up, they have a right to run it exactly as they wish.
If you wanted to you could hire out a church hall or village hall and run your own toddler / playgroup with any rules you liked. It could be 'The Purple Group' where everyone wears purple and sings the colours of the rainbow song.

If you don't like what is on offer, set up your own. There's probably other people locally who have similar thoughts.

TheProvincialLady Thu 13-Aug-09 13:11:21

If you don't want to go to a churchy toddler group then don't, but don't moan about people who set one up or the people who attend it. If it was compulsory to attend then you would have grounds for complaint but otherwise YABU.

ClaraDeLaNoche Thu 13-Aug-09 13:11:41

All sensible advice. I especially like the idea of a Purple Group.

In the meantime I will drive back to the big smoke.

MrsBadger Thu 13-Aug-09 13:18:29

or even just to the next place with a non-church village-hall group?

ask around, you may be surprised at what goes on

MrsMellowdrummer Thu 13-Aug-09 13:20:37

I don't think you're at all unreasonable to feel the way you do CDLN, and I would feel the same. We live in a small rural community, but luckily for me our local playgroup is non church run. If we had one along the same lines as yours, like you I suspect I wouldn't attend.

Really good idea to set one up yourself though... I bet you'd find some like-minded souls fairly quickly. It doesn't have to be elaborate does it - just a nice friendly space for local mums.

Mumsnut Thu 13-Aug-09 13:23:26

Their house, their rules.

scrummymum Thu 13-Aug-09 16:56:09

I go to a toddler group that is run by the church. We have a bible story and some religious songs (as well as non-religious ones). I am not a church person but join in with the songs and listen to the story. The lady that runs them often runs 'girls nights' where mums can go along to have a drink and talk about religion but I just politely decline.

I don't see why you can't listen to their views without believing them.

I listen to politicians too and I don't believe them either.

questioneverything Thu 13-Aug-09 17:08:23

It makes me howl with laughter.

If you don't like it you know where the door is.

The bottome line is this, the religion that you dislike so much, loves you enough to set up a toddler group to show community and bring together the community.

I don't see alot of 'secular athiests' setting up toddler groups, do you.

I have been to many 'church based' toddler groups and have never had it 'rammed down my throat'.

Maybe your so uncomfortable because you know its true.

YABU - vote with your feet or set up your own group.

ClaraDeLaNoche Thu 13-Aug-09 17:12:52

I don't dislike their religion at all. I am just personally finding this unusual because I am not used to mixing church and play.

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