From triple helix - winter 2013 - Making Church Accessible to All Including disabled people in church life [p20]
(Right click and choose 'save as...' to download a printable version of this article)
Tony Phelps-Jones and other contributors
£7.99 Pb 144pp, ISBN 9780857461575
Reviewed by Ruth Eardley
The front cover says it all: a big 'WELCOME!' but the red carpet stops just short of the steep stone step at the entrance. The door in the grey Norman arch is only half ajar (will I get my wheelchair through that narrow gap?) and there is no sign of human life, let alone a warm handshake.
One person in six in the UK has a disability. This great little book helps us think biblically and inclusively about church life. 1 Corinthians 12 reminds us that the church is a body: there are different parts, but all belong. God strengthens and blesses the church through disabled people: all we need is common sense and a willingness to make everyone really welcome.
Chapters include autism (not so keen on 'sharing the peace'), learning disabilities (could we say 'let's talk to God' instead of 'let's bring our petitions to the throne of grace'?), sight loss (let's all sing from the projected words...), mental health conditions ('What you need is deliverance') and mobility problems (Andrew Bartley uses a mobility scooter but was asked to speak at a church disability awareness meeting to be held upstairs).
Medics are well-placed to take a lead on inclusivity. Buy one, read it and donate to the church library.