Despite my mum, and my new sister-in-law both being priests, I haven’t actually spent that much time hanging around churches in recent years.
Yes, my little lad was Christened last year, but much to my poor reverend ma’s chagrin, we’re not exactly what you could call church regulars.
However, over the past couple of months there has been something of a change afoot.
The reason? Church playgroups.
Honestly, I can’t praise (sorry, couldn’t resist) them (yes, we go to more than one!) enough.
Entertaining little ones, especially once they start crawling and toddling about, can be expensive. Lots of mummy and baby classes require you to sign up and pay for a term in one hit. Of course, as soon as you do, your baby then decides the hour in which the class is held is now their new nap time.
Which is why a drop-in playgroup where you can take your little one to play, with toys bigger and better than they have at home for free (or just a couple of quid at the most) is something of a, ahem, godsend.
What’s more, though they’re held at churches, no one is going to be god-bothering you there. Honestly, those of all faiths (and none) are welcome.
On our tour of the church playgroups we’ve so far gone to:
Buggy time on a Tuesday morning at St Clement’s Church, Broadway, Leigh. It’s free, but if you have a tea or coffee and a biscuit it’s nice if you pop a £1 or something in the jar.
Teddy Bears on a Wednesday afternoon at St Nicholas Church, Long Road, Canvey. It’s £2 and that includes a tea/coffee and a biscuit!
Bright Starts on a Wednesday morning AND a Wednesday afternoon at Leigh Road Baptist Church, Marguerite Drive, Leigh. It’s £1, tea/coffee and a biscuit included. AND they have a lovely garden which the little ones can race about in when the weather is nice.
If you know of any others, do let me know!