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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 sign up to the mailing list

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 hard of hearing

Dyslexia

  • The British Dyslexia Association – Support for those with dyslexia and useful information to help make all aspects of an organisation more accessible.  Including a useful downloadable resource guide to producing dyslexia friendly publications – https://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk

Learning disabilities

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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