Revd Karen Bell is the District Disability Advisor. She is available to contact for advice and give talks to churches on Disability Awareness and how you can better cater for all people.
There are many resources to become more aware of the needs to everyone. Attached is a Bible Study Course written by Karen Bell on accepting disability, 'Made in God's Image', and the Methodist Church's module on Disability and Impairment.
Additionally, below you will find a series of questions designed to get people thinking and talking about Disability within your small groups and church congregation.
"Made in God's Image"
Bible Study by Karen Bell
Disability and Impairment Module
by The Methodist Church
(*Please note this link opens to an external website.)
Have a look around your congregation this Sunday. How many people have disabilities or impairments? Are they representative of your church community or the local community or are they in the minority?
How many people with disabilities take an active role in the worship at your church on Sunday? What might impede someone with impairment from leading worship in your church building (e.g. Steps, lectern, pulpit)? Take a mental note and raise it at your next church council!
Why might someone with a disability feel excluded from worshipping God fully in your church?
How can you encourage people of all abilities to experience and participate in worshipping God fully in your local church and Circuit?
Learning & Caring
What does the Bible tell the Church about disability? Why not wrestle together in Bible Study and discover what God is saying about ability and disability to the Church today.
How can you mentor and support a disabled person in your congregation? Here are a few simple ideas that might make someone feel included: invite the person to sit with you in church, offer help gently and don’t assume, invite the person, no matter what their perceived ability, to your mid-week bible study or fellowship groups.
What can you, your local church and Circuit learn from people who may experience God and the world differently to you due to their impairment or disability?
How can you, your church and Circuit stand alongside people with disabilities to campaign on social justice issues (especially as benefit cuts now take effect)?
What work is going on locally for people with physical and mental impairment? How could you or your church get involved?
How can your church support and work with people with disabilities in your local community?
Bearing in mind people with disabilities may have had a difficult experience with church, how can you and your church best reach people with the gospel of Jesus Christ?
What message of the gospel might sit most comfortably with people with impairments?
What can your local church and Circuit do to make your premises more welcoming for people with disabilities and impairments?