Grant in UK Aims to Bring Disabled to Church
There is a new push among the churches in England to bring to service those who might not be able to attend due to some form of disability and at the same time try to break the stigma surrounding the disabled.
To support this effort, the Church Commissioners of the Church of England recently gave £50,000 in development funding to Prospects, a charity that is aiming to develop various models of missions to reach people with both physical and mental disabilities. Prospects will be able to reach their goals while working with three local dioceses.
Unfortunately, there can be issues with disabled persons attending services brought on by a minority of churchgoers who are not comfortable or unaware of how to treat disabled people.
"The evidence we are seeing is a discreet disapproval in congregations and then the family of the person with the disability feels uncomfortable and stops attending church," Gordon Gill, finance manager of Prospects, explained in a statement.
Gill also highlighted another key obstacle for disabled persons being the language barrier, which can make religious services inaccessible to people with learning disabilities. He added that those issues must be addressed.
"Part of the aim is to work with mission opportunities working in dioceses which are leading to growth and to see if they can expand those models and look at replicating some models in different contexts," Gill said.
Like us on Facebook
The grant is going to be used in three areas of the country which are regarded as being socially deprived. The Diocese of Oxford will not officially be part of that mission work because it does not have enough parishes to be classed as socially deprived, but it will be actively supporting the effort.
"We are working in deprived areas looking at how we can disciple those people and their care workers," Gill said.