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Ministry and Vocations: Disability Ministry

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For information about Deaf churches and their ministry in London please visit londondeafchurch.com

About our commitment

The Diocesan Vision 2030 is for ‘Every Londoner to encounter the love of God in Christ.’  This includes not only the vast variety of backgrounds, life-styles, and economic circumstances that London contains, but also the infinite range of embodiment and sensory and cognitive shape that is all around us, some of which is labelled by our society as ‘disability.’ More than 1 in 5 people have a physical, sensory, or mental shape that means that they are labelled as ‘disabled.’  However, as the church in London, we want to be a place where no one is disabled but all people are regarded as ‘able’ and are able to use their abilities to contribute to the shape and nature of the church.

As a church we recognise that we have not always been as inclusive and welcoming as we should be.  We acknowledge that disabled people have often faced barriers to belonging and participation that have devalued them and their gifts.  But, within our 2030 Vision, the diocese is making a new commitment to diversity and inclusion and seeking to be a church in which all people feel they can belong as unique and valued children of God.

Our commitment to enable greater belonging and participation for disabled people in the life and ministry of the church is outlined in the ‘Diocesan Disability Statement’ adopted by the bishops and senior staff of the diocese.

Click here to read the statement

A new role: Diocesan Disability Ministry Enabler

Photograph of John Beauchamp

This work is led by the Rev Preb John Beauchamp in his role as ‘Diocesan Disability Ministry Enabler.’  John is blind and has been ordained for 28 years, serving as a parish priest in Suffolk and London. He is working to encourage all churches in the diocese to explore how they might be more open to the presence and participation of disabled people and to see a greater representation of disability amongst parish clergy, senior staff and London Diocesan Fund employees.

John says: “To open our churches to ‘every Londoner’ is a significant challenge that requires the reimagining of space, worship and belonging in a way that eradicates the ‘them and us’ culture created by the word ‘disability,’ and brings all people together in an experience of fellowship that cuts through the barriers that society imposes on so many that it calls ‘disabled.’ I hope and pray that we can all work together to see the church in London live up to its vision and break open the unrecognised gifts and talents of so many who are currently marginalised and unrecognised within the church and across our city.”

Get in touch

If you would like to raise issues about disability, including your experiences of church as a person with a disability, or ask about how your church can start a journey towards being more inclusive and welcoming, you can contact John at john.beauchamp@nulllondon.anglican.org

Disability newsletter

We will publish 3 bulletins a year – autumn, spring and summer. Each will share news, ideas and resources to help you explore how your church can be more welcoming and inclusive of the belonging and participation of disabled people.

Click here to view the autumn 2022 newsletter

Click here to view the Spring 2023 newsletter

Click here to view the Summer 2023 newsletter

Click here to view the autumn 2023 newsletter

Click here to sign up to the mailing list

BSL and London Deaf Churches

For information on providing BSL interpretation at services and occasional offices please visit this page.

To find out about the London Deaf Christian churches who identify themselves as part of the Church of England, please visit the London Deaf Church website or visit their Facebook page. 

Disability History Month 16th November – 16th December 2022

Disability History Month last year focussed on the health and wellbeing of disabled people. This was particularly in the light of the pandemic when disabled people were more than three times more likely to die if they were hospitalised with Covid.  This exposed a long-standing inequality in provision and access to care and support that has resulted in disabled people’s general health and well-being deteriorating over the past decade.

Visit ukdm.org for more information.

During the month the diocese called churches to a time of reflection and action.  How can we make our churches and communities more welcoming and inclusive, physically, spiritually and socially?

Blog posts

Introductory blog – John Beauchamp
The ministry of disabled people, a gift to the church – Fr. Chris Philips
Disability, intersectionality & poverty – Fiona MacMillan
The Costly Gift of Vulnerability – Revd Anne Bookless

Disability and ministry videos

Helen Shannon
Bruce Rickards
Rachel Greaves-Brown

Resources

On this page we are collecting and publishing a range of resources to help churches explore issues of disability and accessibility.  The ‘360 Accessibility Audit’ and the ‘Strength made perfect’ study course are significant tools to help you do this.  You will also find other downloadable material, along with links to a wide range of organisations providing information and support and a reading list for those who would like to explore the theology and ethics of disability.

Includes the 360 Accessibility Audit pack, and a model parish disability statement.

Click through to read more.

The law

General information

General advocacy and resource groups

Sight loss

Deaf and hearing loss

Neurodivergence

Dyslexia

Autism

ADHD

  • ADDitude. An online magazine for ADHD adults (US based)
  • AADD-UK. A website by and for ADHD adults. Research, resources, local support groups and a lively forum.
  • ADHD UK. ADHD-led resources and research, particularly strong on guidance re work, Access to Work and PIP applications

Dyscalculia

Dyspraxia

  • Dyspraxic Adults. Forum for dyspraxic adults, resources, guides to support etc.

Tourette Syndrome

  • Tourettes Action. Organisation, research and resources, helpline etc. Mainly  children/families.
  • Tourettes Hero. Blog, resources, ideas from Jess Thom, artist, neurodiversity campaigner and advocate. ‘Changing the world one tic at a time’

Additional Needs

  • Wave for change – Being church with people with learning difficulties in London – www.wave-for-change.org.uk
  • Mencap – the voice of learning disability – www.mencap.org.uk
  • Count Everyone In – support, training and encouragement for churches to include adults with learning disabilities – www.counteveryonein.org.uk
  • The Additional Needs Alliance – helping churches to include, support, create places of belonging for, and spiritually grow children, young people and young adults with additional needs or disabilities.  Support, training  and information for families and churches to make inclusion a reality. https://additionalneedsalliance.org.uk
  • Urban Saints ‘Invited to belong’ – Training to make your youth and childrens ministry welcoming to young people with additional needs – www.energize.uk.net/articles/additional_needs/resources/invited_belong
  • Growing Hope – Growing Hope set up clinics in partnership with local churches, offer training to facilitate support groups for parents and siblings of children with additional needs, and champion accessibility within churches through training and award programs.
    growinghope.org.uk
  • ‘Books beyond words’ – Picture books for all ages and all abilities. To help people process experiences, feelings and emotions beyond the need to be able to read and process language.  The series includes an excellent book on ‘Going to Church.’ booksbeyondwords.co.uk 

Neuro divergent

  • The National Autistic Society – includes guidance for places of worship – www.autism.org.uk

Dementia

  • Memory Bridge – resources to encourage and equip the creation of meaningful relationships with people with dementia. www.memorybridge.org
  • The Alzheimer’s Society – united against dementia. www.alzheimers.org.uk
  • Dementia Friendly Church – a UK project run by The Prama Foundation helping churches to know how to become dementia friendly. www.dementiafriendlychurch.org.uk

Mental health

  • The Church of England mental health resources – Including 13 podcast reflections to support and improve mental health. Mental health resources | The Church of England
  • The Mental Health Foundation – www.mentalhealth.org.uk
  • Rethink Mental Illness – advice, support  and information for those affected by mental illness. www.rethink.org
  • Sanctuary Mental Health – offering a wealth of information and a small group course focussing on mental health and the church. www.sanctuarymentalhealth.org
  • Kintsugi Hope – offering training and resourcing for churches to run ‘Kintsugi Hope’ groups that address mental health and wellbeing – kintsugihope.com

Building and access

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