We believe that the church community is only whole when all are truly included. So it’s vital our church buildings, activities, and approaches are accessible to people with physical or sensory impairment, learning disabilities, mental health issues, autism and other hidden disabilities. We wish to provide the same opportunities for everyone.
The Church of England’s Welcoming Disabled People pages are a good place to start, with introductory films, and ‘A Place To Belong’ guide and audit tools. Please see a wealth of other resources below to help us become ever more an enabling rather than disabling church.
All Ability Services and Resources
This is a monthly Fresh Expression especially inclusive for people who have learning disabilities and their friends and family which meet regularly at different locations in Devon. For further details please contact Ann Stuckey
Go Sign is a great website for people who are deaf or who have hearing difficulties. It has resources and information about the Christian faith, events, churches and training to support Deaf people and others who use British Sign Language.
Torch Trust‘s aims to enable people with sight loss to discover Christian faith and lead fulfilling Christian lives.
Resources to help churches
Reaching out to Residential Homes/Day Centres can be challenging, which is why Rev Ann Stuckey has produced videos to help churches reach out to homes and centres for adults with special needs.
Ability Sunday (formerly Disability Sunday)
This is about enabling the Church to become a whole community and is now on the second Sunday in September. Parishes can celebrate this and use the resources at any time of the year.
Count Everyone In is an organisation that aims to inspire and equip churches to be welcoming and accessible to all.
The Churches for All website has great advice on how you can make your church more accessible.
Urban Saints offer training and advice on how your church can disciple children with additional needs.
The Diocesan DisABILITY Steering Group has been established to help champion disability issues and support parishes, mission communities and diocesan structures to make activities accessible for all. The group is chaired by Mr Stephen Macey who is a member of the Bishop’s Diocesan Council and Diocesan Synod. Members represent different churchmanship and location in terms of rural and urban parish experiences.
Diocese of Exeter Policies
Diocesan policies provide us with an opportunity to share good practice, raise awareness, provide appropriate training and build confidence in parishes and mission communities.