In June we have been invited to take part in a major international conference on the church and disability to be held in Rome. We are taking our exhibition stand and are also submiting a paper for consideration for the preceeding symposium.
You can find out more by going to http://www.livingfully2016.com
Then in July we will be exhibiting at General Synod in York for the second time.
There are other things in the pipelione too. We are planning an event similar to the Living On The Edge event we attended at St Martin's In The Field last year probably in early June and definitely in the north. Watch this space for more information as the plan comes together, we have a working title of "Towards A Jesus Model Of Disability".
Dave is working on a new book about his journy from becoming a guide dog owner through to the formation of Disability and Jesus. We hope to have this published in time to take to both Rome and the York synod.
There are other exciting opportunities to that are still at too fragile a stage to say more about but as soon as those plans become more fiorm we will let you know.
We are a group of disabled Christians covering a wide range of disabilities, some of which are often hidden.
We are all experts in our field and many of us are involved in ministry. We came about because we feel there is a lack of resources available to churches that are up to date with current thinking in the disabled community. Much of the materials available to churches is at least ten years out of date. In that time the law has changed significantly and so have the hopes and expectations of disabled people themselves.
More than anything we feel it is time for a new approach, a user led approach, it is time that all disabled people felt fully welcome and able to play a valuable part in church life, not just there to be ministered to but to minister.
We would like to see a situation where every UK church had a disability action plan. This would start by each church having an access audit, not just on it’s buildings but on its written materials, websites etc.
On the basis of that audit each church will be able to write its own disability policy and action plan. You may not have the funds to do everything required or that you would desire right now but it is important to acknowledge what needs to be done and to be able to demonstrate a commitment to working towards a more equal situation.
We"ve been very busy boys, girls and dogs this last few weeks. Firstly in October we spoke at the "Livining On The Edge" conference in London. This was a partnership event between Inclusice Church and the church of St Martin In The Fields. It was great to finally get a chance to meet so many of you there. To sit in a room with well over 100 like minded people was very inspiring for us, something some of us had been dreaming about for a very long time.
The Living on the Edge conference at St Martin-in-the-Fields was an event that Disability and Jesus have been dreaming about since long before we were formed.We spent the day exploring how disabled people are finding ways to use their experience of exclusion to educate inform and minister to others, to assert their right to belong and to remain faithful to their faith despite much misunderstanding and even in some cases abuse. There were talks and workshops, there was meditation and prayer. An event both by and for disbar led people and an opportunity for others to come and find out more about how disabled people experience church..
Then in early November we attended the Church Urban Fund "Money Matters" conference in Manchester.
We are also thrilled to be able to tell you that Disability and Jesus team member Fr Bill Braviner has been appointed as Disability Officer to his home diocese of Durham. Bill had this to say on his appointment. "I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to help the Diocese think about access, welcome and inclusion, and to make a real difference in our engagement with our communities"Bill has just been featured in this magazine artile in Plain Truth Magazine. You can see it HERE
(Published in "Plain Truth' magazine)
Please take a look at our Twitter campaign at #fullaccesschurch where you can see the body of evidence that we are begining to build so that we can prove the need for Disability and Jesus to church leaders. We hope thios evidence will help us to win funding which in turn will help us to produce more resources.
Here is a short video made at our stand at General Synod in summer 2015.
The feature features The Rev Katie Tupling of our team. We're very sorry about the amount of background noise.
Here at Disability and Jesus it looks as though Spring and summer are going to be both busy and exciting times.
Please take a look at our new Diary and Events page to see the sort of things we are going to be up to.
As we grow and expand the workload for the three of us is becomeing a little more difficult and with that in mind we are looking for volunteers in three key areas. Do you have experience in web design and maintainance, fundraising or film making. If you think you fit the bill for any of these and would like to help, please get in touch.