Livability had the welcome mat out for everyone at Greenbelt last weekend. Livability was at the annual faith, arts and music festival Greenbelt as one of the event Associates.
Following Livability’s support of Greenbelt’s accessible communion service last year, our focus in 2018 was how churches can support the participation of disabled people.
Through workshops and training at the event, Livability shared our recently launched ‘More Than Welcome’ resource, which equips churches to consider accessibility, inclusion and participation needs of disabled people. The resource was launched with our charity President, The Archbishop of Canterbury at a recent disability conference he hosted with Livability at Lambeth Palace, earlier in the summer.
During the weekend, Livability hosted two workshops and a discussion panel. The discussion panel explored people’s lived experience of disability. They shared positive experiences of church life – but also the barriers that disabled pepole can face.
Haydon Spenceley, a church vicar said ‘We might spend a lot of money on a ramp, but it only takes a fiver to take someone out for a drink,’ showing a welcoming attitude is just as important as accessibility measures.
‘We might spend a lot of money on a ramp but it only takes a fiver to take someone out for a drink’ @haydonspenceley @greenbelt on how welcoming disabled people extends beyond the building pic.twitter.com/GU5nH98Cqf
— Corin Pilling (@CorinPilling) August 27, 2018
As well as sharing views and opinions, Greenbelters were able to tap in to a wide range of resource and idea sharing with Livability’s team at the event. From learning workship songs in Makaton, mindfulness sessions and sensory prayer ideas using rosemary and ribbons, there was much to inpsire and provide food for thought.
In the months ahead, Livability will be taking our More Than Welcome training on tour. For churches and individuals that want to consider what it will take to support the participation of disabled people in church and community life, the training will take people through a practical guidance and ideas for their setting. Dates will be out soon.