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Last Updated: Friday, 31 August 2007, 09:35 GMT 10:35 UK
Church bans toddlers' yoga group
Yoga teacher Louise Woodcock: photo Apex
Groups using the church hall must meet Christian criteria
A children's group has been banned from a church hall after their yoga lessons were denounced as "unchristian".

Teacher Louise Woodcock from Taunton, Somerset, was told the Yum Yum Yoga classes for pre-school children did not share the church's Christian ethos.

The Silver Street Baptist Church in Taunton said its hall was not suitable since yoga promoted other spiritualities.

Mrs Woodcock said: "There's nothing religious about yoga for babies."

Christian spirituality

"We're talking about kids pretending to be animals and doing exercise routines to rhymes - there is nothing that could damage their minds," said 41-year-old Mrs Woodcock.

"I thought the church hall would be ideal and I told them I wanted to use it for a children's activity.

When we let rooms out to people we want them to understand that they must be fully in line with our Christian ethos
Revd Simon Farrar

"But when I came to book it I told the woman from the church office, it was for baby yoga, and she went all strange.

"I got a letter from the minister a few days later saying I couldn't have the hall, with no reasons given.

"I rang the church office and the woman said it was because yoga was related to a spirituality, unrelated to Christian spirituality, which is ridiculous."

Minister Revd Simon Farrar admitted toddler groups did use the church hall, but said they did had to meet certain criteria.

"We're a Christian organisation and when we let rooms out to people we want them to understand that they must be fully in line with our Christian ethos."


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Church turns away yoga classes for parents and toddlers



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