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I want to know more about Plymouth Brethren

(103 Posts)
onetiredmummy Thu 29-Aug-13 11:10:33

I'm curious about the Plymouth Brethren, there is a meeting place near my home & I often see families with the females wearing headscarves & I know nothing about this branch of belief at all.

I've tried Wikipedia but its very word dense & I can't get the entire page on my phone (computer is broken).

Is there anyone who can give me some info on the Brethren, just some main points of the religion & what its all about please, purely for my own interest?


SuperiorCat Mon 02-Sep-13 09:06:54

Really interesting. Good luck in your new job

HappyChristian Wed 12-Feb-14 23:17:10

Hello. I'm a member of the Plymouth Brethren. I can promise you we're not that bad!! We're all quite normal human beings who live our lives by the scriptures. One myth to clear up about having generic problems with children is that we are very, very careful to ensure we are not related before getting married so issues with children are not caused by inter relations. Please see below link which will hopefully answer all your questions you may have on us!

eurochick Wed 12-Feb-14 23:24:13

There were some in my school. They didn't mix with the other students and they upset quite a lot of people over one thing. The father of the girls got himself on the board of governors and then insisted that any book with supernatural references was removed from the school library, including many firm favourites. For some reason the school complied. There were three Bretheren in a school of around a thousand.... They were innocuous apart from that, but I found that rather arrogant and unpleasant. And that is the main thing I remember about them 20 years later!

Dynasty Sat 15-Feb-14 21:27:19

The women all wear denim skirts, I wonder why that is? They also seem to have a lot of money. Different groups of them would always spend an awful lot of money in the children's designer clothes shop I used to work whenever they came in. They were always polite but quite reserved, I often wondered about the faith but never plucked up the courage to ask.

breatheslowly Sat 15-Feb-14 21:45:18

There were quite a few Plymouth Brethren where we used to live. They seem to have some sort of rule about not walking past one Brethren meeting house to get to another on a Sunday and are meant not to have more than a certain number of worshipers in a meeting place. So when they reached a critical mass they had to set up a new church/meeting place and the location was really important as they couldn't have lots of people walk past one to the new one. Their places of worship didn't have windows.

The men would read from the bible on the high street on a Saturday morning. I thought that was a bit tokenistic as no one ever listened so it was a crap way of evangelising. Wouldn't God want you to do something that people actually engaged with?

technodad Sun 16-Feb-14 07:40:10

From reading people's comments, they sound very much like a cult.

Also, the whole detached house thing sounds bonkers. Do they not realise that sewers and electricity cables join at the street despite what type of house one lives in.

How can someone not believe in modern technology, there is loads of evidence for the existence of my computer.

Irrespective of whether the individuals are "lovely people" or not. Surely a religion that has a communication policy that rivals North Korea, should be investigated.

Pantah630 Sun 16-Feb-14 07:52:15

They are a cult. If they were so wonderful, I would know all of my stepsisters and stepbrother, not just the one who escaped as a teenager and the one who got out later and my paternal grandmother would have welcomed us with open arms, not cowered behind a door, scared she had been seen by another member while talking to us. sad If you want to know more, ask those members that have left, there's quite a few. Son of Rambo is well worth a watch, as said upthread.

pixiegirlishere Sun 16-Feb-14 07:58:02

There's a lot of alcoholism and depression amongst the Exclusive Brethren, particularly the women. Strict segregation in terms of expectations for the different sexes - being a male brethren is great, a female, not so much.

RalphRecklessCardew Sun 16-Feb-14 08:01:26

The only person I know who grew up a Plymouth Brethren is now a kind, smart atheist who gets on well with her parents.

lisa9 Thu 06-Mar-14 06:59:57

Hello, I'm Plymouth Brethren too. Like HappyChristian says, we really are not that bad! I just thought I'd pop in and point anyone else who comes across this thread to a booklet on the website HappyChristian mentioned,

and from there you can download the booklet, "Living Our Beliefs".

It is a great little booklet with lots of pics and info on how and why we live the life we do, hopefully you find it very interesting and helpful! All the best.

CuttedUpPear Thu 06-Mar-14 07:18:51

There was a thread on here not long ago where a poster was told by some local Brethren that she shouldn't waste her time advertising her house for sale on their community notice board as it would never sell. The reason being that no Brethren would buy a semi detached house adjoining non-Brethren, as they were evil. confused

ladychristian Wed 19-Mar-14 10:06:47


I am one of the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church members. I am a married female professional, working part time, and am very happy and contented. We are not evil, we are Christians who seek to go by the Bible. There is nothing sinister about us - in fact, we basically just follow simple Christianity and our families are our main priorities in life! I think you will find that anyone who speaks negatively about us has had very little or nothing to do with us. There is a lot of misinformation out there about us.

We don't have to wear denim skirts, some of us wear them because they are practical! We use computers, obviously, but don't have television or radio in our homes or workplaces. We like to look feminine, so maybe that's why we look a little different. We are not a cult - we love the Lord Jesus Christ and believe that He died for us, like a lot of the population in the world. If you had a look at the way your great grandparents lived, you'd probably find they lived very much like we do - family oriented, clean living, hard working and loving God. There are still a lot of families who live like that all over the world, in all walks of life and in all sorts of churches.

In a country like Australia, the United States and many other Western countries, people are free to practice their religion. We are practicing Christianity and we want our families brought up to be clean living, unselfish and hard working, like the Lord Jesus Christ was. That's one reason we like to have our own schools to educate our kids - there's a lot of non-clean stuff that goes on in public schools. I went to a public school all the way through to Year 12, before I did tertiary education, and I was only 7 when I was exposed to the first bit of filth at school.

Regarding preaching on the streets, I used to go and support the preachers when I worked full time before I was married. I don't do it so much nowadays. We don't only street preach to show we love the Lord - we regularly give to charities, and have set up the RRT (Rapid Response Team) to help out the public in the places where we live. I used to help at the local public primary school even after my daughter left there to go to our private school, because I love helping kids to read. I can't sit down on the little chairs any more, so I've given it up due to arthritis!

Basically, we see the Bible as the guide for everything we do - there is nothing that comes up in life that can't be solved by finding wisdom in the Bible. Sometimes the things we do might seem odd to other people, but there's always a reason for what we do!

Hope that helps.

EasterHoliday Wed 19-Mar-14 10:11:21

LadyC, why do you have to live in detached houses? I live in a village with a large Brethren community and there's been a lot of building houses in gardens etc to preserve the growth of the community but living in seperate detatched houses... what's the reasoning for it?

mummytime Wed 19-Mar-14 10:27:11

I think the reason they can often appear rich is that they avoid debt. I know of one Baptist group that did this too, and its how a lot of Indian families managed to get wealthy too. If you buy a house for cash and avoid mortgages it costs quite a lot less in total than getting a mortgage.

The downside is probably having to live with your in laws for years.

slug Wed 19-Mar-14 11:57:12

Many moons ago in NZ I used to work for the national film library (this dates me) It was the repository of all those educational films that were used in schools. We had dealings with an Exclusive Brethern community within our catchment area who ran a community school for their children.

To be honest, we would look forward to a booking from the school as the head teacher (who went by the wonderful name 'Faithful Pilgrim') would always return the film with a long critique of the film's appropriateness or otherwise for the proper education of children. Science films always included comment on the dangerous evolution theory and the lack of the acknowledgement of god. All other films invariable had a comment on the inappropriate clothes/words/behaviour of women. Even the most innocuous appearance by a woman in the background would be commented on.

I used to feel quite sorry for the children, especially the girls, who were subjected to that sort of partiarchical nonsense, but to be fair the school did do it's best, judging from the films that were booked out, to give a comprehensive education even if the children were forced to hear about evolution

It came as no surprise to me and my colleagues when a few years after I left, the head teacher and several of the other teaching staff were exposed and jailed for what turned out to have been years of systematic sexual abuse to the children in the school.

ladychristian Fri 28-Mar-14 06:50:22

Well, Slug, let me assure you that it wasn't the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church you are referring to. We only started our schools in the 1990-early 2000's period, and the principle of shunning evil includes shunning such terrible stuff as paedophilia. We believe in protecting our families, not abusing them.

WhosLookingAfterCourtney Fri 28-Mar-14 07:09:33

In your previous post, ladychristian, you refer to filth and unclean things, what did you mean?

CuttedUpPear Fri 28-Mar-14 07:48:47

ladychristian do you really believe that non PBs are evil?

ladychristian Fri 28-Mar-14 09:16:29

WhosLookingAfterCourtney, I meant filth as in pornography etc. Children should not be able to access this stuff.

CuttedUpPear - we do not believe that non PBs are evil - we believe that there are a lot of Christians in the world, and a lot that have already passed away, in fact we believe that "God will have the majority" as it says in the Bible.

WhosLookingAfterCourtney Fri 28-Mar-14 19:09:35

Oh I see, yes, obviously.

NiceTabard Fri 28-Mar-14 20:10:46

I can tell you a bit about the Exclusive Brethren if you like, there are lots around here, I was at school with some and lived near a church etc.

I don't know much about the Plymouth Brethren TBH.

DioneTheDiabolist Sun 30-Mar-14 14:59:30

My ExH's grandfather is Plymouth Brethren. He has always lived in a terraced house.

DioneTheDiabolist Sun 30-Mar-14 15:10:03

Techno, what sort of investigation do think is needed? Who should do it and why?shock

mcmooncup Mon 31-Mar-14 00:19:29

Am I filthy for having sex outside marriage, or just evil?
I also live in a semi.

Mumof5boys81 Sun 06-Apr-14 01:58:41

I'm not brethren or ex brethren, however I grew up in one of the towns in the UK with the largest brethren population and so have done a lot of research into them, I have in the past known brethren members though they are very aloof. When it comes to the exclusive brethren the hales group are the largest and most well known group but there are also several other groups of exclusive brethren, such as the Renton group and the glanton-kelley group, these other groups of exclusives are even harder to find info on than the hales group and are often even more secretive.

Some have stricter rules than the Hales group as well regarding dress, never cutting ones' hair etc so if people are coming across exclusives with very strict practices along those lines it's possible they are not from the Hales group, as the rules in the Hales group have relaxed in recent years. Which is a shame for those who were permanently excommunicated in the past for breaking those rules sad.

Slug, the group you came across in NZ aren't brethren at all, though they dress in a similar fashion, they are a sect called the cooperites and you can find documentaries on them on YouTube.

One thing I know about the Hales group that isn't commonly known but is pretty scandalous is that they are deeply racist and I am surprised the charity comission didn't look into this when they investigated them recently. It's a myth that there are no black brethren but those that there are, are looked down upon as second class citizens and they are not allowed to marry white brethren. They believe it's only allowed to marry someone of your own race and having mixed-race kids is the biggest taboo. Mixed-race members are also not allowed to marry white brethren. They also require brethren women and girls with Afro hair to chemically straighten it, natural Afro hair is not allowed. [ angry ] . There really is no place for such views in this day and age and as a mother of mixed race children I find it so offensive xx

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