In the diocese of Oxford we celebrate the inclusion, contribution and ministry of disabled people, recognising that the church community is only complete when all are welcome, and the partnership that should exist between disabled people and those who are able bodied. We aim to support parishes, deaneries and the diocese in ensuring that our buildings, activities and services are welcoming and accessible for disabled people. This work includes mentoring, disability access audits for churches; disability awareness sessions for parish or deanery groups; other forms of training, and individual advice to parishes on disability issues.
Our Disability Adviser is Revd Katie Tupling (click on her name to find out more about her)
The role is part time, as Katie is also Lead Chaplain amongst Deaf people – you can find out more by going to the website of the Oxford Council for the Deaf and Hard of hearing (the link is here). For an introduction to D/deaf culture and some of the challenges faced by this community, there is an excellent article here written by Lucy Cooper
Ability Sunday 2019
Throughout September and October 2019, a number of churches took up Bishop Steven’s invitation to take part in Ability Sunday.
Ability Sunday provides an opportunity for churches to hear from disabled people, family members and care workers about how God is working in their lives. It’s an opportunity to move from just a church that welcomes disabled people, to a church that enables everyone to fully participate and share their gifts.
Ability Sunday is a themed annual service in the same way that a church might run Christingle. This year our theme was“made in God’s image”, using Psalm 139 and Genesis 1. If you have projection facilities, you could show videos of the readings, such as these produced by the charity ‘Prospects’ https://vimeo.com/132827553 (Ps 139) and https://vimeo.com/132942583 (Gen 1)
Additional resources are uploaded to this page for you to use in your churches (see below) – every Sunday could be Ability Sunday!
History: Ability Sunday was founded by the Christian charity Prospects in 2015 – later becoming part of Livability – to encourage churches to celebrate the gifts and abilities that God has given to disabled people (particularly with learning disabilities). In the first year over 220 churches registered for Ability Sunday. Many churches reported the service had a huge impact with their congregations.
Ability Sunday gives churches the opportunity to celebrate all God’s people and all our gifts, as we recognise that we are all made in God’s image.
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