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Disability friendly church


A group at Withington church

One strand of our diocesan vision, to be Church for a Different World, is to work for a world where people with disabilities, cognitive conditions and various forms of dementia are not seen as 'less than' in any way, but as people with unique gifts, insights and wisdom borne of their experience. A world where all are valued for who they are.

About 17% of people in the UK live with a disability of some kind. 95% of us will experience some form of disability during our lifetime. The diocesan Disability Task Group develops policies and resources to help establish a Church where everyone is welcome and everyone's gifts and insights are valued and used. Hear from some of our members who have been developing their vocations.

Physical Disability 

Physical disability, especially impaired mobility, is one of the most familiar forms of disability, often one that is associated with isolation and lack of access. The disability charity, Livability, says: The participation of disabled people in all strands of life is vital. People shouldnt face disabling barriers that take away from their wellbeing and life opportunities.

A list of resources on disability and physical disability, and on the participation of disabled people in all aspects of life, including church, is available here. 

Children with disabilities

Simple, practical advice to help you make your church more welcoming for children with disabilities or additional needs and their families.

The Deaf Community

Resources for the Deaf Community are available to download. These include information on Deaf Churches, clubs, BSL services and interpretation for occasional offices. 

The diocesan chaplain to the Deaf Community is The Revd Canon Cathy Nightingale

Sight Loss

It is important that church members and leaders make their spaces accessible to the visually impaired, and are aware of how to relate to people with eyesight loss. Of course, this applies to all forms of disability.

Torch Trust, a Christian organisation working with and for the visually impaired, has developed a program entitled Sight Loss Friendly Church, to help churches and groups to attain this awareness.

Mental Health 

Mental health and wellbeing is important to the Diocese of Manchester. We support clergy, youth workers and chaplains with mental health first aid training. Our Mental Health Resources will be of use for churches and schools, and include details of organisations that provide further help and support. 

Valuing people with Down's syndrome toolkit

The Church of England has created a Valuing people with Down's syndrome toolkit to help welcome people with Down's syndrome and to provide information for church leaders, church workers and chaplains to assist them in gaining a better understanding of issues relevant to people with Down's syndrome.

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