Engagement and Inclusion

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.

In November 2017, Vanessa Layfield was appointed our Diocesan Engagement and Inclusion Officer.  Her work includes enabling our churches to become more inclusive of disabled people. The church must be a provider of services (Under the terms of the Equality Act 2010) and therefore we all have a responsibility to take positive steps forward.

Since the commencement of her employment, Vanessa has hit the ground running.  Amongst many other things, Vanessa is keen to develop the resources and support we offer those with a disability. She has been busy working with our newly formed Disability Forum exploring how to transform church life by ensuring disabled people feel included, empowered and enabled to contribute to God’s Kingdom.

In view of this, Vanessa is encouraging Parishes to look at the ‘Through the Roof website with a view to appointing Roof Breakers. ‘Through the Roof’ is based on the story found in St Luke 5:17-31, which tells of a paralyzed man being healed by Jesus after being lowered through a roof.  If anyone is interested in becoming a Roof breaker’, please go to Through the Roof, once sign up has been completed, a free starter kit will be sent to you. 

Additionally, Vanessa, with the Rev Peter Mackriell, Director of Studies for Pastoral Workers, Wendy Luxon, our newly appointed chair, and members of our Disability Forum invite you to attend a training course entitled ‘Enabling Church’, The course, produced collaboratively by the  national Christian disability-focused organisations promotes:

  • A theological understanding of disability
  • Awareness of resources available
  • Development of a local disability-inclusive initiative

The duration of the course is 8 sessions each of two hours from 7pm to 9pm at Church House on May 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th, June 14th, 21th, 28th and July 5th.  Places for this course are limited click here to book yours Eventbrite as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Vanessa is also encouraging Parishes to become involved in Disability Awareness day on Sunday 15th July 2018.  Our Diocese will be represented at the Disability Awareness Day event being held in Warrington on Sunday 15th July 2018. If you are interested in attending, please click here.

Additionally, we’d like to encourage you all to hold a service on 15th July 2018, to celebrate disability within your Parish. We are currently working on some helpful resources for you to use on the day so please do watch this space!


Engagement and Inclusion
Key Websites about the Church and Disability