Dear Rabbi Simon.
I have a question regarding a club in church.
I’d like to sign Seth up for chess camp, but it looks like it’s inside the church hall. When I asked the organizer about it, here’s what he said: “The Camp is inside the church hall. The church is closed when we hire the premises and the only attending adults are our staff (who are all DBS checked).”
Would it be permissible to send Seth to a camp like this? Thank you!
The venue is not appealing, but you are allowed to send Seth there if it is the only option which meets your needs. The posekim (halakhic authorities) discuss this question in the situation of entering a church premises from the purpose of voting. Others have considered the permissibility of attending AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meetings. Ditto for Weight Watchers or similar. Although each of these scenarios is slightly different one to the other, the essential heter (basis for permission) is the same. Hence my response above. Explain to Seth that a Jewish person is not allowed to enter the actual place (sanctuary or chapel) where Christians worship, but the hall within the church building is allowed.
Rabbi Rashi Simon