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Church Hall Misery


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I am the manager of a small pre-school (24 children max) and we operate from a local church hall. We have always had a difficult relationship with the church committee, some can be helpful and understanding and others can be picky and stubborn. Lately we have found that anything we raise with them which has been highlighted on our daily opening sheet is met with a picky moan from them ( one in particular!). This is beginning to upset both myself and my staff as we feel that we are not allowed to mention anything. It is even more annoying as only this morning, before I could even start to set up, I had to re-stack chairs, wipe surfaces, empty bins etc from a previous group activity last night. I felt so fed up with it (it happens quite regularly) that I had a moan to one church committee member. I expected her to say she would speak to that group, however she just turned it around and said that the bag was only half full and therefore didn't need emptying! and that they hadn't really caused a problem. It didn't seem to matter to her that we had had to spend time tidying up their mess though. I know that if it had been us we would have got into trouble.

I don't like confrontation but this morning I felt really peeved. I just wish they would allow us to run the pre-school as we are expected to and for us all to feel happy about being there. We are all feeling low at the moment and wondering why we bother. (sorry for going on - just had to get it off my chest)

Has anyone ever had similar problems? What did you do to resolve issues?

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I definietely know where your coming from, we operate from a church hall and we have had some many problems. We come in to bins being full, tables uncleaned, chairs unstacked, even the cleaner is useless, the dirt is awful all around the skirting boards, windows filthy!!!!! He comes in during a session and tries to clean around us. we mop the floors, clean the toilets, the lot and now they want to put our rent up, it seems a joke, the other users even use our resources which we have paid for...... Church don't even reply to my e-mails and phone calls.

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thankyou for replying. It just makes your blood boil doesn't it. Don't get me started on rent rises!!!!!!!! Our rent has gone up every year but as we are in a disadvantaged area, we haven't always passed these increases onto the fees paid by parents. However this year we had no choice but to increase them, hence our numbers are lower. Many of our parents are not only paying our fees but also childminder fees so they do find it difficult. Really we could do with putting them up again, but worry that our numbers will drop even more. It looks like we may have to apply for a grant to keep us going!!!

Not the way it should be.

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Oh i am so with you on this one. I have a constant battle with the church committee where we are. If some thing gets broken it must be playschool, if the toilets are blocked it must be us. I have come in where they have had their precious schools using the hall the night before to find paper towels down the toilet, tissue stuck on the ceiling, I've even had to clean the S*** of the walls where their lovely church children have had youth club. Even the older people have left things in the kitchen and blamed it on us.

Like you they are putting our rent up each year for the next 3 years by £2000 i'm open 6 hours a day and they will be charging me £20 an hour in 3 years time. They will be earning a wopping £22,000 a year. but the hall doesn't seem to get anything done to it.

Last year the cleaners were so fed up with the state of the place that they left and now an elderly couple who are church members and are contract cleaners do the cleaning even they moan.


Oh to have my own building but after 4 years of looking I think I will probably retire before I find anything.

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i can sympathise as well, we are exactly in the same boat having to clean before we get equiptment out, have called church 3 times and emailed twise in the past two weeks to get lights fixed and heating turned on so that the hall warms up before we arrive - guess what no reply to any of my calls or mails.


Its thier AGM next Monday ..i cant wait!!!!!!

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Am I the only one to have a good relationship with the Church?

I am not a Church Pre-school, I am a private Pre-school and just rent the premises from them five mornings a week. The church wardens are fine and the Deacon is absolutely wonderful (female). There are others that use the hall - Brownies, Guides Scouts, St Johns etc. as well as private functions at the weekends. The cleaner goes in Mon, Wed and Fri mornings about 6am so everything is ready for when I get there just before 8am. Of course we have to put everything out and at the end of the session put everything away. We leave it clean and tidy as do the others. If there is a problem, such a heating didn't come on one morning - someone was there within 30 mins. They are really wonderful.

The rent goes up yearly and in the parents contract they know that fees also go up every year.

I am sorry that you guys have a lot of stress - I count myself very lucky. :o


Sue J

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And from me ..... don't start me on this !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I nearly posted something on this the other day but was so angry I thought it best not to xD:(:(:(


I have all the problems as above and then this little one...........


Sunday evening ....... end of 1/2 term .......... got a phone call from the Centre Manager to say that he hadn't been able to finish installing the kitchen that he was supposed to have done in the 1/2 term holiday (he should actually have done it in the 7 weeks we were off in the summer.)


So just a matter of fact phone call to say that we had no kitchen. We were due to return to re-open on the Tuesday. "Where was everything from the kitchen i.e. cooker, fridge, crockery etc.?" "Oh in the main hall, but just put it in the small hall." 'What do we do for drinking water?' I asked - use the taps in the toilet was the reply. Just a slight problem to using the small hall for storage is the fact that our Registration is for both of the halls because of the number of children we have.


Staff then had to give up our precious training day, take all their own cleaning materials and go and clean out a very old cupboard that at least had running water in it, so that we could operate.


Anway, not to worry because the new kitchen would be finished on 9th November. Yep you've guessed it ... it's not, but according to Centre we can use it. It has ......... new floor cupboards admittedly, alongwith all the old plaster falling off the walls, flaking tile adhesive around all the work surfaces, no hot water, bare wires hanging out of the walls where the electric sockets should be, anyway don't worry about the health and safety aspect of that lot because as 1/2 the tiles are missing from the floor you'd probably end up breaking your neck tripping up going in.


Oh I've just had enough of it. To think that we're the main rent payers that enbabled them to take on this project and they really just don't get it - the standards which we work to, Registration criteria etc.etc.


And to make matters worse the Centre Manager (chauvinistic pratt - sorry Steve I just had to write that cos I am so mad!) then posted a notice on the old kitchen door saying it was out of use but that "The Pre-school have very kindly re-instated the small kitchen for everyone to use."


The Pre-school 'very kindly' did no such thing.


And of course I haven't told you that the cupboard we made into a kitchen was actually our store cupboard, and guess where that lot ended up - yes in my spare room and my garage in my lovely new house that I only moved into 2 months ago. I already had 1/2 the Pre-school here anyway, might as well have the rest.


Completion date is now expected to be during the Christmas holidays.


I haven't yet worked out how we are going to do refreshements for 150 people after the Nativity Play. I haven't yet decided how much longer I can tolerate their attitude for before deciding enough is enough and it is time for me to go.


Sorry for the gloomy post but in case anyone is in any doubt ..... you sort of touched a very raw nerve there!


Good luck to everyone in the same position. :o

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as I started to read your message I thought "do we work in the same setting???"

it appears to be a universal problem of shared premises and an all too familiar re-occuring nightmare,

you have my sympathy


we did have an open day and encouraged the church to attend, this did help improve communication between "them and us". they were able to come in and see just how much work we have to set up the room and work with the children and families, we were also able to point out that we were bringing families into the church many families who would never set foot into a church for any other reason and it is up to the church to make these families feel welcome


I think we achieved one step in the right direction but we have a far from a perfect relationship and my morning was identical to that of Kaz :o

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OH janice!!! I had written and posted my reply to Kaz before I had seen your post I will count my blessing at a few black bags of rubish and a dirty kitchen and hall.


we had a similar event about 4 years ago when our church gutted their kitchen we had to totally close for 2 weeks without warning and re-locate to another local church who more horrible and thoughtless than the church we used we where glad 4 months later when we could finally go back to our old church who dispite their faults....... you know the phrase better the devil you know


I hope things get better for you Janice

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so sorry to hear all your stories, good to know we are not alone though.... our large bin where we put our balck bags hasn't been emptied now since before half term (5 weeks)..... we have had all our milk stolen from our fridge..... blocked toilets... toilets flooding the floor, no heating... it now comes on for the first hour at 8am and 12 then goes off.... we have looked for alternative premises but can't find anything

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Same position, our hall committee are fine as long as we.......................

don't have the sand out,

don't play with water,

don't use their bins,

and generally don't leave any possible trace that children have entered the premises,


Apparently a squashed grape was found on the floor last week, :(:(:( - a potential hazard for the ballroom dancing group :oxD

Edited by Guest
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Hi Kaz,


I really can empathise here, we've had similar probs in our Church Hall and it is difficult for Church Committee's to understand the depth of requirements expected of us by Ofsted and other bodies to meet the term 'good practice'.


However, you asked for support and help, here goes with my thoughts;


Obviously there are a number of us in Church Halls and they really don't seem to reflect the church's role. Within your Church there should be a designated Child/educationm officer and through expoerience I have found it better to go through them informally or formally than through the range of interfering or presumptios helpers who are kind in nature to help voluntarily with the running of the hall, but miss the point when it comes to offering service with a smile!



If you don't get any joy, I'd get your local EYAT or PLA advisor to chip in and maybe have a meeting with the church.


Don't back down, when it comes down to it, you provide them with a large amount of revenue - an maybe churchgoers too, which they would struggle to replace.


You are right and I'd start getting a bit of ammunition ready to quote their terms and conditions of hire and go above their heads too!


Best of luck and let us know if it improves!

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Shirel ..... Well in all of this & feeling very despondent, your reply certainly brought a smile to my face again!




(p.s. it doesn't get me a nice new kitchen that satisfies all the regs but it DID make me smile!)

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And from me ..... don't start me on this !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I nearly posted something on this the other day but was so angry I thought it best not to :oxD:(:(

Presumably you'll be asking (very nicely) for a reduction in your rent for the period when you couldn't use the whole of the premises?


I hope your nightmare is over soon!



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We must be the exeption to the rule. :o


We have a very accommodating church hall committee. We are allowed to leave pictures/posters up all term. We have put up coat pegs all with names on for the children.


We pay a very reasonable rent. We have a premises officer who we can leave notes for to say what needs mending. The caretaker comes in early each morning to clean before we get there. He polishes the floor every term (and we trash it in a few weeks with sand!!!)


The church has a photocopier that we are allowed to use (we do pay towards copies).


We have been allowed to put locks on doors. The church paid half for the fridge for the kitchen.


Anything within reason we seem to be allowed to do. We do clean up before we leave and put away tables and chairs etc. but on the whole we seem to do very well - SORRY


All we are asked not to do is put blue tak or sellotape on the plastered walls. Anything else is OK xD

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must just let you all into a secret, me and Janice at the moment are on a course which is 1 morning a month called Leadership and Management :unsure: xD regard less of the fact that we have both been leaders for years me probably more than Janice (nearly 20 years so that tells you how old I am)

We sit on the same table with another lady who runs a pre-school the same as us in a rented building. We spend the whole morning moaning about our premises and the committees that we have to deal with that we get told off for being the noisy table cos we spend so much time laughing at our problems. :(

We will spend 6 months laughing our way through leadership and management.


I think thats probably the only way to get through the hassles that we all have because its certainly not from the high blood pressure that the problems cause ;)


We do have a high point during the course that one of our "Tutors" is rather tasty and is quite nice on the eyes.

And after that Janice lets hope he doesn't come on the Forum very often!!!!!! otherwise he will really know how good looking he is :(:( :wacko: xD :rolleyes: :o

Still I'm an old lady so he does take quite alot of stick from me. Its the Grandmother Syndrome Like the Mother Syndrome just older. (you don't tell your mother what to do you always do as you are told: NOT!!)

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