New Churches Inc initiative launched to encourage church to be more inclusive for disabled people
In August 2013 Livability launched the Churches Inc campaign in partnership with Premier Christian Media and Through the Roof. The campaign aims to encourage individuals and churches to sign the charter with a view to becoming more inclusive towards disabled people who are often marginalised from society.
According to statistics disabled people in the UK are far more likely to be unemployed, poor and isolated than other people with 1 in 7 families with disabled children going without food. Similarly a third of disabled people live in substandard accommodation and 1 in 4 disabled people state they have no choice or control over their everyday lives. The sum total of which reflects the harsh reality faced by most disabled people.
The church is ideally positioned to address this situation by reaching out to disabled people in the local community and actively involving them into all aspects of church community life. This belief is at the very heart of Churches Inc.
How can I get involved?
Story to Tell
Do you, a friend or relative perhaps have a story to tell? As part of Churches Inc we are also asking people to share their experiences of disability and inclusion in the church which we can then use to inspire and challenge others, whether this is a positive or negative experience. We have begun to collect some stories which you can read here.
We are also keen for people to fill in a survey, which only takes 5 minutes, in order to get a more comprehensive picture on this issue. One fact we have quickly identified is that there is very little data on the inclusion of disabled people within churches in the UK. We want to change this so that we can measure our impact in a more meaningful way.
To date hundreds of people have signed the Churches Inc charter from across the UK but we would love to see thousands more commit to proactively welcome disabled people into their local church and wider community.
Commenting on the importance of the initiative, Adam Bonner, Director of Community Mission at Livability said:
“Despite the positive impact of the Paralympics raising awareness re. disability and inclusion, the reality is that disabled people remain some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people in our communities. We believe that the church has a key role to play to combat the poverty and isolation that many disabled people. Our Churches Inc charter invites churches and their congregations to be proactive in welcoming disabled people and challenging barriers to inclusion. I believe Churches Inc could be a fantastic opportunity for the church to make a difference in the lives of thousands of marginalised people across the UK.”
To find out more about the campaign visit: http://www.abilitysunday.org.uk/church/churches/