Everything you need to know about disability and inclusion in the church
In this section, you will find a wide range of information, guidance, and tips to help make your church welcoming, accessible and inclusive, explore your calling and vocation, and celebrate the contribution and ministry of disabled people. Scroll down to find out more.
Diocesan Disability Advisers Conference 2023
The first residential conference for Diocesan Disability Advisers (DDAs) took place in November 2023, organised by the Revd Kt Tupling, Oxford DDA, Chair of the DDA Network and Cathy Shilton, Disability Project Manager, with funding from the Church Commissioners.
35 DDAs and nominated delegates met together for worship, teaching and mutual resourcing over a three-day period. The DDA network is made up of (mostly) volunteers who are appointed to their diocese to promote the gifts of disabled people, as well as to highlight the need for better awareness of the things which prevent disabled people from fully belonging to and ministering within the Church.
Top tips for churches
How can churches make a difference for autistic people in their community?
"Our mission is to make sure people can be with God, with community, in a way that is truly meaningful for them - and when that works, it's a beautiful thing."
Watch our video where Ann Memmott PgC MA Ann Memmott, external adviser to the diocese on autism, shares her thoughts on how churches can make a difference to autistic people in their community.
Hearts singing God's song: Vocation for disabled and neurodivergent people
Each of us is made in the image of God and each of us is fearfully and wonderfully made. And each of us is called to be part of the mission and ministry of the church, regardless of our embodiment and anything that our society might label as disability or difference.
This event in February 2024 is for disabled or neurodivergent people who would like to begin to explore a vocation to lay or ordained ministry in the Church of England.
Why not take a look at our event in 2023, where we hosted a special vocations event featuring a range of engaging speakers sharing their stories of following their calling from God.
The Revd Tim Goode gave a keynote address entitled 'Healing to a Heresy' - you can watch that here.
General resources around disability and inclusion
Diocese of Oxford Disability Conference 2021
A wealth of wisdom from disabled people and relevant organisations.
Disability Access Audit for Church Buildings
A document to download and use to assess your church building's accessibility.
Welcoming and Including Autistic People in our Churches and Communities
Guidelines produced for use in the Diocese of Oxford.
Children in church resource
This guide is for people with responsibility for children’s work in churches, and includes topics such as making people feel welcome, making people feel included and ideas for teaching and worship.
10 ways to belong
The Methodist Church, Count Everyone In, Urban Saints, and the Additional Needs Alliance, have collaborate to create a guide to help churches support children, young people and young adults with additional needs, and better enable everyone to belong in every church.
God on wheels: Disability Liberation and Spiritual Leadership
Interview with Rabbi Julia Watts Belser, Professor of Jewish Studies at Georgetown University
Ability Sunday video reflection
The Revd Katie Tupling reflects on Psalm 139, Ability Sunday, and her own faith and disability.
Celebration of different abilities service
Chester Diocese held a service online in 2021, in place of the usual service at the Cathedral, and the Revd Katie Tupling was one of the contributors.
Find out more
- Freedom – bringing the gift of a wheelchair or mobility aid and sharing the Gospel with disabled people in developing countries
- Friendship – blessing disabled people with Christian friends through being part of our groups, holidays and Retreats
- Faith – building our network of Roofbreakers and advocates through training and resources to ensure disabled people can belong and contribute