The Revd Amanda Pike has been appointed as the new Chair of the diocesan Disability Forum. The appointment was made by the Bishop of Chester, Mark Tanner.
Amanda has been an ordained minister for a total of 21 years, ministering mainly in the Diocese of Lichfield. For most of that time, she says she was what most people might describe as being "able-bodied".
However, in 2017, complications during an operation on her bowel left her with extensive damage to her spinal cord, resulting in Amanda leaving the hospital in a much worse state of health than when she entered.
The experience left Amanda with significant mobility issues and relying on a stick to help her walk.
Following her operation, Amanda saw a vacancy for a post at the parishes of Wrenbury, Baddiley, and Burleydam and was successful in her application. She was subsequently installed in the parishes by Bishop Mark in June 2021.
Being disabled is not a pre-requisite to holding the role of Chair of the diocesan Disability Forum, but Amanda says: “I have learned a lot about the problems encountered by people with disabilities. I admit that I didn’t think about it too much and would forget that simple events like a church walk can prevent some from joining in, making them feel excluded."
"Even the act of worship, with the repeated standing, sitting down, and kneeling is something that can sometimes be overlooked, and we need to bear this in mind.”
Amanda has only spent a short time in her role as Chair but is already looking forward to making 2023 a good year. Her mission statement is short, simple, and to the point: “First and foremost, I'd like to help change people's attitudes.”
The Disability Forum is the body that discusses issues relating to disability and aims to help churches in the Diocese of Chester to better understand and accommodate those with disabilities.
If you’d like to contact Amanda, her details are below.