CAPTION: Claire will work closely with mission communities across Devon to help make churches to be as welcoming and accessible as possible.

New Disability and Additional Needs Advisor Advocates for Welcome and Inclusion

Posted: 21st February, 2023

A new Disability and Additional Needs Advisor has been appointed by the Diocese of Exeter in a voluntary role.

The Rev’d Claire Reynolds is a curate in the Brixham Mission Community and will carry out her new role alongside her parish one.

Woman with pushchair at welcome desk

Claire wants to make sure everyone feels welcome and included at our churches

She is a parent to a young adult with additional needs, which she says makes her aware of the challenges that people with disabilities and additional needs face when trying to access church services and events.

She said “I am hugely excited to be appointed as Disability Advisor, as the creation of this role expresses the importance every single person has to play within our faith community in Devon.

“The Bible tells us we are made in the image of God, so it is important all who want to access our church life and worship are made to feel welcome and included, and can flourish and thrive there.”

Claire will be working hard to champion positive change across the Diocese as an advocate for access, inclusion, and participation for those with disabilities and additional needs, giving them the equal opportunity to fully take part in church life and ministry.

Her role will include working closely with mission communities across Devon to help make churches welcoming and accessible.

Training Opportunities

She will be offering training and resources to support inclusion and accessibility, along with working with external partners to advocate for change.

Claire will also be setting up a working group and a forum where individuals with disabilities and additional needs can encourage, challenge and inform diocesan policy and practice.

Lydia Perris, the Diocese of Exeter’s Creation Care and Social Justice Officer, said “Claire is someone who cares deeply for those marginalised in our society, and our churches, and is passionate about those with disabilities and additional needs being truly welcomed and included in all aspects of church life.

“I’m delighted that she is volunteering her time, expertise and resources to champion this across the Diocese, and I’m excited to see the positive changes that she will make in this new role.’

If your church is looking to make services, groups and activities more accessible for your congregation, then please get in touch with Claire.

Email Claire Reynolds