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Did you/would you got to church just to get into a better school?

(43 Posts)
charliecat Tue 31-May-05 10:11:40

Where i live the schools are grammar schools or great schools that you need to be religious to attend or rubbish.
A lot of people go to church with their children simply so they can have the form signed to say they attend regularly.
Have you? Would you? Is it only here or is it widespread?

fisil Tue 31-May-05 10:17:31

ooh, this one could get heated. Absolutely not. The dss and I are regular churchgoers (twice a week!) but dp is atheist and we believe that the boys should make their own decision about whether to be baptised. If a church school insisted either that both parents were worshippers or the child must be baptised, then the boys will not be able to go to that school. My religious beliefs are very important to me and there is no way I would compromise them or get anyone else to do so just so they could go to a certain school. As a teacher who has worked in an "excellent" religious school and an inner city "sink" school, I would have to say that if I had to send my children to one of the two it would definitely be the latter anyway - don't be too quick to judge schools on their results, parents' views or kids by the gates!

Gwenick Tue 31-May-05 10:22:59

As it happens I'm a Christian that goes to church every week (might not be too popular if I didn't go being the organist LOL), DH comes 'most' weeks (when DS2 is ready) and DS1 usually comes over with me. We're all baptised, and DH and I are confirmed too.

So naturally we 'hoped' to get a place at the local school (next door to our house) - and did. If we were regular church attenders then I wouldn't have felt comfortable applying for a place on the basis that we 'went to church' etc etc.

We're lucky that the headmistress of the school has been attending the local church for YEARS, and therefore knows most of the families.........which also means she's got a pretty good idea when admissions time comes round as to who is attending church to 'get a place' and who isn't.

So to answer your questions

No. No. Widespread

fastasleep Tue 31-May-05 10:28:33

I almost decided on doing this, I nearly joined a Catholic church...and then felt really guilty and told myself that at primary school age (which won't be for ages yet anyway!) the things you get taught at home are the most important. I'm just a plain old agnostic, DH is an atheist though.

expatinscotland Tue 31-May-05 10:28:55

I started attending Mass again after moving to this flat. It's right across the street. For years, although I still held my faith close, I went off the rails in my life - divorce from a man who never wanted children, drinking too much, affairs, etc. But I still believed.

One day, I found a book by Mother Theresa on a bench. I read it and it made a relationship with God sound so simple and relaxed. I started to pray again.

Then we moved to this flat and I noticed the Church across the road. I noticed how happy the families looked when they got out of Mass, how they had a community. So I thought to give it a try. One of the sisters must have noticed me at the back, after Mass one day she approached me and politely introduced herself. I told her I was a Catholic, but lapsed, and that as I'd asked God to come to our house whenever he could, I thought I'd pay a visit to his.

After that, I joined. I figured, it is up to my daughter what she believes, but that at the least, I could introduce her to God.

But I know for me it is not something I could do if I were not sincere in my beliefs.

Recently, I found out the district RC is over-subscribed and has a good reputation. But it is affiliated with our church and down the road from our home so DD will go there.

On the one hand, some of those who begin attending church so their kids can go to a school will find faith and this is good. I can't say God is affronted, b/c I don't know and it's not my place to judge. I think anyway to get folks involved spiritually is no bad thing.

fisil Tue 31-May-05 10:41:07

That's a very good point expat. I had a period of a few years in my 20s when I still believed in God but found organised religion very hard to deal with. There came a time in our lives when dp and I were making big choices and having big discussions, and so it actually happened that I rejoined a church community at about the time I first started trying to get pg. And it is true that my current church activity has some connection to how I'm bringing up my children. So I guess it isn't a completely black and white situation.

Caligula Tue 31-May-05 10:44:25

Ha ha ha wait for this thread to go up in flames!

Toothache Tue 31-May-05 10:47:10

I know loads of Catholics who do this.... then go on at me for not putting my child into a Catholic school.... er I'm not Catholic. Dh's family are and their all at it!

It's different in Scotland though as the Catholic Schools are not church funded, so they can't discriminate. But, in England where DH's family live most of them (non practicing Catholics) attned mass purely to get them into the 'best' school.

charliecat Tue 31-May-05 10:47:35

Before it does let me say I was only asking

webmum Tue 31-May-05 10:50:54

I didn't, I think I'd have rather moved closer to a good state school than do that.
But I know people who do. Not that they're complete atheist, but they kind of find religion again when they have chidlren.....

Then again its always easy to judge when you have a choice..isn't it?

acnebride Tue 31-May-05 10:51:37

No, because I don't think faith-based schools are a good idea. But live and let live. It's not for me to judge why people go to where they go to. No worse than going to work to get paid IMO.

nutcracker Tue 31-May-05 10:52:20

Yes I would without a doubt.

When we lived in a different area I was horrified when I went to look round a nursery for dd1. I was adamant that she wasn't going to it or the school, and tried to persuade dp that we all become catholic just so I could apply elsewhere.

Luckily we moved before we had to take up a place and the school dd now goes to is a non religious good school. At the mo the secondary schools are good too but if they wern't I would 'become' religious overnight if needs be.

beetroot Tue 31-May-05 10:52:35

Message withdrawn

Carla Tue 31-May-05 10:53:05

H isn't a Catholic, I am. Got dd

Thomcat Tue 31-May-05 11:00:23

It's not the only reason I go to church but I admit it does help get me there a bit more often, knowing I'd like my DD go to the local Catholic school.

I go to church because I have religious beliefs, I do have faith, I do believe, I do pray, I go to church because I enjoy it, because my DD enjoys it, because we've made friends there, becasue when i leave it makes me want to be a better person, I feel calmer and more content and more at peace with the world, and I go because I have to, both becasue the church says I should and the school says I should. I do go to church but not every week. The importance of Lotties education does spur me into going a bit more than I otherwise might. If that makes me a bad person then so be it.

Carla Tue 31-May-05 11:00:28

.... baptised and I can brazenly say that's one of the reasons I did so. Haven't had dd2 baptised yet, though, and she's 5.

Thomcat Tue 31-May-05 11:05:04

I was baptised a catholic but never confirmed. When i fell pregnant I realised I wanted Lottie baptised and felt I didn't know enough about the faith. So I went to 'catholic classes' every Wednesday night for a year throughout my pregnancy, then on the night we had Lottie baptised I was confirmed alongside her, it was easter Saturday and it was amazing.

Not only do D and i want her to go to a Catholic school, (D went to a Catholic boys school and his father is a staunch Catholic, has been awarded a KSG from the Pope and everything!_, but since having Lottie it also turns out this local catholic shcool is fantastic with children who have special needs. The are the leaders in the area in SN. Een more reason to want her to go there now.

PinkFluffPudding Tue 31-May-05 11:08:02

Funny this as i recently had an argument with a friend from London who said loads of people were doing it in her area and she thought there was nothing wrong with it as we all want the best for our kids. True.

However, my immediate reaction was that this is wrong and a total insult to 'true' Catholics. I was baptised into the Catholic faith and was made to attend church every week until i was confirmed at 16. I then went 'off the rails' for many years - was pretty much atheist until i found God again but this time round i am C of E and have a much more peaceful attitude towards Christianity.

My withdrawal from Catholicism has caused my family quite a bit of pain and nearly resulted in my mum's relationship with her siblings to fall apart (long story).

Therefore my opinion is that Catholicism should be entered into with serious committment and not with insincerity. It is not the easiest Church to join - from what I have seen it involves a lot of heavy instruction and the vows of committment upon entering the Church are meant to be made for life, not until your child leaves school.

I think it would take a lot of pretty ruthless front to go through all that instruction and make all those promises just because you want to send you child to a better school.

slartibardfast Tue 31-May-05 11:19:37

"If we don't go to McDonald's I'll tell them at school that ... "
:-)

Sponge Tue 31-May-05 11:25:28

No I wouldn't and haven't. The local schools around us are either church schools or awful so dd goes to a private one but I wouldn't "pretend" to be religious in order to send her to a church school.
Interestingly it is mostly the believers here, who go to church anyway, who are saying they wouldn't go just for school reasons. Hard to know what you would do if you didn't believe though.

ladymuck Tue 31-May-05 16:28:49

Not done it myself, but several of my friends have done so (and have got their kids into the CofE school as a result).

I must say that I don't find it that objectionable - churches are trying to increase their membership, and if they can't get their point across in the 2 years or so that these parents attend, then their message can't be all that captivating. If they succeed in converting the parents, then they have achieved something worthwhile.

motherinferior Tue 31-May-05 16:30:31

No, I'm too appallingly atheist, I'd be spotted and thrown out for bad behaviour.

Mosschops30 Tue 31-May-05 16:33:14

Message withdrawn

MarsLady Tue 31-May-05 16:33:59

The time it becomes a problem is when you are talking to a parent in the playground who has done all the "right" things to get their child into the school and then complains that it is too religious! Well doh............. That annoys me most especially when people who go to Church because of their faith don't get the place. We could've changed churches to improve our chance at the local church school, but we didn't cos we liked where we worshipped.

SenoraPostrophe Tue 31-May-05 16:38:13

no. Not because I think it's wrong, but because i don't want my kids to go to a religious school.
I think they should be abolished.

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