All Saints, Stoneycroft; St Johns, Knotty Ash and St Basils, Hough Green received the Disabled Friendly Church Award at a presentation evening at All Saints, Stoneycroft. Run by the Disability Action Group of the Diocese, the awards showcase how, as Roy McCloughry, the National Disability Adviser for the Church of England commented, “At the heart of it all is the idea that if a church is disability friendly, it is a better church for everybody.”
After presenting the awards, he also added: “The service was lively and inclusive. There many were children there who were absorbed in what was going on and it was obvious that a lot of thought had gone into the event. Becoming a disability friendly church is not just something for churches which have a special interest in disability. It reflects the heart of the gospel itself. Many churches around the country are doing similar courses and finding that they open up all kinds of new possibilities for them. All can take part and learn as well as having fun.”
People from all three churches attended the ceremony, along with Alex Galbraith, one of the members of the Disability Action Group of the Diocese. Archdeacon Ricky Panter plus other representatives from our diocesan team also came along.
Archdeacon Ricky commented, “Alex Galbraith’s humorous and hard-hitting presentation considered the practical ways so many of us make life difficult for others without intending to. Ruth Reed led active prayers, where children were encouraged to physically kick some of the barriers to involvement. This they did having fun while making the whole event memorable."
Following the event, Archdeacon Ricky spoke about how keen he was for all churches to engage so creatively with the issues around disability.
He encourages other churches to consider applying for the award. The award process entails an audit of buildings, an education evening plus a safeguarding review of vulnerable adults.
Contact Debbie Doran
for more details.