The third Sunday in November has been designated as Disability Awareness Sunday – now an annual event in the Church of Ireland.
This year it falls on Sunday November 18 and the Standing Committee’s Working Group on Disability is encouraging parishes to mark and participate in the day as creatively as possible.
This has been a remarkable year in raising the profile and increasing public awareness of people with disabilities as sportsmen and women competed with passion and commitment at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
It is, therefore, timely to raise awareness at local level of disability within the life of the Church: to celebrate participation and to encourage greater involvement of people with disabilities of every kind.
The Rev Canon Dr Will Murphy, Chairman of the Working Group, said: “The purpose of Disability Awareness Sunday is to help churches focus on disability not just for one day but for that day to lead to ongoing inclusion of people with disabilities in the life of the Church.
“The day will provide churches with an opportunity for people with disabilities to take part in the services and through this and other ways to raise the awareness of disability among the church community in general.”
Canon Murphy said there are various helpful resources (see below) for parishes to use such as those produced by ‘Through the Roof,’ which offers advice and guidance through its website as well as its publications.
“Grove Booklets are also very helpful. Of these, Mark Bredin’s True Beauty: Finding Grace in Disabilities is excellent in explaining the importance of every church being inclusive in relation to people with many different disabilities,” said Canon Murphy. “I trust everyone can get involved with enthusiasm in this initiative in 2012 and beyond.”
Resources for Disability Awareness
Through the Roof
PO Box 353, Epsom, Surrey. KT18 5WS
All Welcome (£5.00)
Be a Roofbreaker (£5.00)
Come In! (£10.00)
Removing Barriers (£3.00)
Hearts in Motion (£2.50)
Church House Publishing
Church House, Great Smith Street. London SW1P 3NZ
Special children, special needs (£5.95)
Grove Books Ltd
Ridley Hall Road, Cambridge CB3 9HU
God’s Special People (James Mitchell–Innes)
Evangelism and Learning Disability (Alan Lowe)
True Beauty: Finding Grace in Disabilities (Mark Bredin)