Disability and Deafness
As Christians we want to be an inclusive church family and to welcome everyone to worship together. We want our church communities to be as accessible as possible in all ways for all people.
The church is a provider of services (Under the terms of the Equality Act 2010) and we have to take positive steps to have accessible toilets, easy access into and within our buildings, good lighting and sound, large print orders of services and hymns and induction loops fitted. Any improvements made do not only benefit disabled and deaf people, but the whole congregation, including young families and older people. Everybody should be made to feel comfortable, welcome and included!
Be inclusive and accessible!
Accessibility Check List Short check list for parishes to use themselves to see if you need to make any adjustments or improvements to your buildings / surrounding area to make them more accessible.
Improving access to your church and buildings Please refer to the Diocesan webpage – ‘do you need a faculty?’ to see if you need a faculty for the changes you want to make. (There is lots of helpful information on the Property webpages). You can also review building regulations at http://www.planningportal.gov.uk which provides information on the regulations for ‘access to and use of buildings’.
- RNID - the technical services department offer to make a free visit and to give a quotation.
- Sarabec - supply portable loops.
- Some companies that parishes have used: Institute of Sound and Communications Engineers (ISCE); Cornerstone Systems Ltd; PAS Sound Engineering Ltd
Once the loop has been fitted in church make sure it is checked regularly to ensure it is working correctly. A special headset and gadget can be purchased from the RNID or other sound system providers to enable testing to take place if there is no-one with a hearing aid available to inform the churchwardens if the system is not working satisfactorily.
The Diocese of Blackburn have produced a very good audit checklist that you might find useful. Find it here
The recommended number of disabled parking bays in an off-street car park with a capacity of up to 200 vehicles is 3 bays or 6% of the capacity whichever is the greater. To minimise inconvenience, difficulty and risk when getting into the building all bays should be within fifty metres of the main entrance if the route is uncovered. Loose gravel is not a recommended surface for car parks, particularly for a route which will need to be traversed by a potential wheelchair user from the reserved parking bays. Bays which are reserved for Blue Badge holders should be clearly marked, preferably on the surface of the car park and on a post or wall at the head of the parking bay.
Event planning - good practise checklist Useful if you are planning an event or meeting to check if you are considering people with varying needs.
Sources of funding Information on trusts that may be able to help you fund your alterations
We work to raise deaf awareness through the diocese by signing services and occasional offices, as well as holding training events for people to learn church signing.
Signed services of worship
- St Mary's Church, Church Road, Upton, CH49 - 4th Sunday of the month: 11am
- St Matthew Church, Grenville Street, Edgeley, SK3 0JS. last Sunday of the month at 11.15am.
- St John’s Church, Earlsway, Macclesfield- SK11 8RS at 9.30am (Please contact the church for more information)
Click here for more information about the Congelton Team
Church Signing - Training and Support Sessions 2016
Are you interpreting in your church? Do you want support to build up your skills? The Diocesan signing team meet regularly to practice signing and support one another. They are led by Lyn Kirwan, Sue March and June Battye.
Saturdays in 2016;
September 3rd 11.00-4.00 at Hope Farm Methodist Church, Hope Farm Road, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, CH66 2LF. Interpreting Psalms (Sue March)
October 15th 11.00 – 4.00 at St John’s Evangelist, Wilwick Lane, SK11 8RS. Back to Basics Level 1 (June Battye)
No cost. Please bring own lunch. Tea and coffee provided. Contact Lyn Kirwan if you would like to come along: firstname.lastname@example.org
For information on requesting a signer for occasional offices please contact Hannah Jones, email@example.com
The Diocese is unable to pay the cost of a signer.
The Diocese of Chester no longer employs a Lay Chaplain for Deaf and Disabled People.
For more information please contact:
Hannah Jones, Assistant to Committee for Social Responsibility. Telephone: 01928 718834 ext 263.
‘Opening the Doors' DVD and book resource produced by the Church of England, which will inspire everyone to understand the gifts and needs of people with learning disabilities and autism. This resource is easy to use, contains much practical advice and a theological rationale to inspire our churches to become the one big family of God. Order from Church Of England
Livability Community Mission
To equip and challenge churches to make their community more livable for everyone.
Disabled people’s user led organisations: list and contacts