Sitting in the little glass room or not? New church or old? Thoughts welcome!(8 Posts)
we've just moved house and the nearest church is about 100m away, whereas the one we used to go to is about a 25min cycle/10 min drive. We went to the new one today and it's a much more modern building so they have one of the little glass fronted rooms for families with tinies, and we went in with the dds (nearly three,and 8mo). It was a)v small indeed, 20 seats but about 30 people once you count the kids on laps, and b) mayhem! We couldn't cncentrate on the mass at all. Dd1 was pretty good as we take her a book, show her what's going on etc, and dd2 fortunately was due a nap anyway.
The new place has got a kids' liturgy session during the mass where the small ones go out then come back later in the mass. Our old church is the main one for the city and has a full family mass with children reading, they go to the front for the homily which is aimed at the under 10s, so a different atmosphere and the church is much bigger - about 500 at the family mass each week, often standing room onlh The new one is a 'branch' with its own parish which was created because the other church was overflowing, only has the two Sunday masses and congregation probably about 200. Dh and i sing in the choir at our old church at the Latin service, and expect to carry on with one of us singing each week, so evn though the family mass isn' the most stimulating spiritually we do get a 'proper' one every other week!
So the question really is, Stick with the old church or move to the new one?
Pluses of new church: it's very very close, we'd get to know people in the area, they have an 'adult' service with the children catered for separately. Mass is at dd1s nap time so we could sit in the main church and listen without disturbing others too much.
Pluses of old church: lots of friends there, dedicated family service so they feel fully part of it, the priest who usually takes the service is very good. But further away so takes an extra hour out of the day once you add in cycling or finding a parking space nearby!
Your old church sounds awful, IMO. Latin?
My recommendation is to find a good, mission-focussed Anglican church.
Give your new church a go, but unless your DCs are really disruptive, sit in the main body of the church. I would not allow your DD to go with anyone unless both you and she were happy with it and that is going to take time. If you still feel uncomfortable after some time, then what about alternating the churches a week about?
Erm, thanks for that helpful input MindTheGapp...
Dione, you're right about checking who leads the kid's sessions, dd1 is not quite old enough yet anyway so plenty of time to find out.
You have to make up your own mind, but having struggled with having children in a parish that doesn't have many families, I would have loved to have a church like your 'old' church nearby, which really catered for children.
Also I hate those glass family rooms (cages) with avengence. My very earliest memory of church when I was about four was of sitting with my father in the main body of the church while my (non-catholic) Mum and little sister were banished to the glass room. I must have been told that I would have to go in the glass cage if I misbehaved because I remember thinking that all those mothers and children had been excluded because they had done something wrong. The most friendly and happy parishes I have lived in have been the ones that celebrated their children and enjoyed the low level noise of them (someone said it was like the sound of birds in the rafters), not banished them.
Thanks for that acorntree, interesting to her your thoughts on the little glass box, I feel sad for the little you and your sister. The parish is so big that they have a mass for everyone (spoken, family, Polish, folk, Latin) and the family and folk ones are usually packed out. The good sign is that there are plenty of teens still coming to the family service, and they even join in with the singing!
Our parish is tiny. I does have advantages, we do have a good sense of a parish family because everyone knows eachother well, and celebrates things together, and you have no choice but to be involved because we all need to work together to get anything done - but I do miss large dynamic parishes.
Personally, I've always liked the idea of going to church in the area that I live - I think there is a greater sense of community within the church and that sense of community can spill out into the local area. Having said that, life with little kids isn't always easy. Everyone is different and what works for us may not work for everyone.
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