Church services are typically inaccessible for those with severe learning disabilities. Sarah Lothian discovers a ministry successfully reversing this trend.
Welcome to Disability Week 2014 brought to you by Premier in association with Churches for All. This third annual Disability Week comprises a series of programmes on Premier Christian Radio supplemented by resources on this website.
Premier has entered into a strategic partnership with Churches for All and Livability as we work towards a fully inclusive Church where all are welcomed and encouraged to play their God given role within the body of Christ.
Churches for All is a network of UK Christian disability organisations campaigning for a fully enabled Church where all are able to play their part in the body of the Church whatever their ability/disability. CFA partners have a breadth of experience and depth of knowledge on disability issues – challenging and enabling churches to fully include disabled people.
The Churches Inc charter
"Our churches should be places where disabled people are welcome and feel at home; where barriers to inclusion are taken down and everyone is valued and encouraged to play their part in the body of Christ"
Sign the Churches Inc charter and join the campaign to make church more inclusive. We'll keep you updated on campaign developments and bring you resources and training to help.
The picture below shows the "Living Room" venue at Greenbelt 2013 and the queue for questions at Livability's Everybody Welcome? seminar.
Enabling Church Conferences
Disability, Wholeness and Christian Theology
1 in 6 of our UK population has one or more disability.
‘I really genuinely think we have had a seismic effect in shifting public attitudes...I don’t think they will ever see disability in the same way again.’ Lord Sebastian Coe speaking at the closing Ceremony of the London 2012
Pictured right: Seb Coe (with Premier Life Director Jonathan Clark) signing his quote on the Enabling Church Conference leaflet, wishing us "Good Luck for the events".
If the London 2012 Paralympics changed the way we think about disability – what difference has it made to our churches? This was the challenge that we set for those who attended the two Enabling Church Conferences held in 2013 as we marked the first anniversary of the London Olympics.
With keynote speakers, expert talks, panel sessions, speakers with disabilities the full day programme included exploration of the biblical perspective on disability and practical discussions about making your church’s ministry and mission more accessible to disabled people. It was a day packed with insights and ideas, talks and dialogue.
Enabling Church Conference North East
Recordings from the Enabling Church Conference North East at Bethany Christian Centre at Houghton Le Spring, County Durham on Saturday 22 June 22 2013.
Enabling Church Conference South West
Recordings from the Enabling Church Conference South West held at Westbury upon Trym Baptist Church, Bristol on Saturday 6 July 2013.
Check out our wealth of resources
A church that is better for disabled people is better for everybody.
Making Church Accessible to All provides a strong argument for rethinking the way we present Church. Working from the biblical basis for including people with disabilities, Tony Phelps-Jones considers the obstacles that Church can put in the way and the practicalities of establishing an effective ministry.
The book includes examples of inclusive teaching and worship, together with sections focusing on the following areas: learning disabilities, autism, sight loss, hearing loss, mobility difficulty, mental health conditions and families with children with additional needs. Published by BRF for £7.99. Get your copy now.
Torch Trust CEO Gordon Temple has worked with writer Lin Ball to produce a book of resources to enable churches to get to grips with what the Bible has to say about the inclusion and involvement of disabled people in church life.
The book, described as ‘a Bible-based resource towards the full inclusion of disabled people’ and commended by Churches for All, is for church leaders, groups and individuals who want to get to grips with what the Bible says about disability – and what the Church could do in response.
It’s packed with discussion material, prayer, worship and hands-on activities, as well as the voices of many disabled people commenting on issues of real importance. Theologian Roy McCloughry, someone who knows what it's like to live with the disability of epilepsy, described the book as ‘creative and timely.’ Get your copy now.
Is your website accessible?
If so, then you could win a fantastic prize at this year's Christian New Media Awards! We are looking for great Christian websites that are accessible to all abilities, particularly the blind and partially-sighted. If your charity, church, or personal website is eligible then enter our awards now!