In July 2012 Havering closed over 40 children’s groups that provided free facilities for children of all ages.

When they closed Havering offered a paid service, but at around £3 an hour this was a lot for women on maternity.

A group lead by volunteers was suggested by Havering, but they also insisted the leaders commit for a year, which is a lot more time than the standard maternity leave and what happens if your child outgrows the group in that time?

In this hard time it’s the local churches that have taken up the slack and children’s groups that were once empty now have waiting lists

Here are some examples in Hornchurch:

St Andrews church, 222 High Street, Hornchurch, RM12 6QP

0-2 Group

Every Wednesday during term time, 9.30am -11.00am, St Andrew’s Large Hall

A happy and active mum’s and toddler’s group that has a section for babies and lots of toys for older ones as well. Nice place to meet other parents over a cup of tea

Contact Details:
Parish Office –

ABC Club – Ended December 2014

Tuesdays during school term times, 1.15pm -2.30pm, St Matthew’s Church

With singing, stories and craft for children up to school age this is a great and safe environment to bring your child to

Contact Details:
Carole on 01708 449311.

Little Fishes

Every Thursday during school term time, 1.30pm -3.00pm, in the Large Hall at St Andrew’s

This is a fantastic group for children aged from birth to school age and their carers. There is an area for the children to play and adults to sit, and refreshments are provided. There are opportunities for the children to join in with parachute games, story time, crafts and singing.
They are funded by donations to which the adults are invited to contribute.

Contact Details:
Parish Office:

Hornchurch Methodist Church – Ended 2018


Open Mondays during term time from 1pm to 2.30pm
Cost £1.50 per child or Siblings £2. Babies under 3 months old Free.

Established in March 2009 in Hornchurch and formerly held (Oct 2004 to Jan 2012) at Gidea Park Methodist Church.
Kiddywinks is a good group to go along to for a chat and a cup of tea/coffee with your little ones. With a friendly, relaxing atmosphere and a good selection of toys suitable from birth up to school (4) aged children.
Activities including drawing / crafts, songs, story-time with puppet Daisy and bubbles.

Contact Details:
Suzanne Pearson, 01708 456587,

Hornchurch Baptist Church, North Street, Hornchurch, RM11 1RL

Stepping Stones

9.30 – 11.30am Friday morning term times.
£1.20 per family.

For 0-5 years old. Stepping Stones is a good time to talk and make new friends with art and craft and singing to end.

Contact Details:
Hornchurch Baptist church office – 01708 456 173

St Mary Mother of God Roman Catholic Church, 213 Hornchurch Road, Hornchurch, Essex, Tuesday

St Mary Mother & Toddler Group

Tuesday 2.00 – 3.15pm in the Parish Hall
£2 per family

A very friendly group for mums and babies with plenty of toys and free tea coffee juice and biscuits

Contact Details:
Sarah on 07807 013609

As you can see there are a lot of groups but the truth is a lot of them are overbooked and some even have a year waiting list.

These churches are doing there best and looking for volunteers but I know that some people have had to book there places on the conception of there babies

I hope the above list is useful, please let me know if you know of any other groups in or out of churches for babies and toddlers and we will list them here