What Does it Mean to be an Accessible Church?
The Equality Act 2010 seeks to achieve equal opportunities in the workplace and wider society. Under the Act, duties are placed on 'service providers', which includes churches and the service they provide for worship and wider activities, either in the church or a church hall.
The Act applies to all church premises including clergy housing.
The duties placed on churches require them to take reasonable steps to change practice, policy, or procedure which makes it impossible or unreasonably difficult for a disabled person to make use of its services.
The use of premises by a disabled person must be anticipated and not left until the situation arises. Forward planning must be applied to ensure that all people are included in the provision of the service.
Being an accessible church means providing for the needs of all parishioners, allowing everyone to access, experience and share in God's love and worship.
The resources on these pages will provide you with guidance and information on how to make your church more accessible to all.
Accessibility and Disabled People Resources
|Guidance Note; Accessibility and Disabled People||
Guidance notes published by Church Care on the Equality Act and the requirement for churches and church buildings.
|DAC Disabled Access Audit||
The Diocese of Sheffield's Disabled Access Audit is a document that can be used to audit current disabled access and highlight any areas that require improvement or change.
|Checklist for events||The Diocese of Peterborough has created a 'checklist for events' that can help church events to be as accessible to as many people as possible.|
|Diocese of Sheffield; DAC Guidance Notes||The Diocese of Sheffield's notes on 'Providing for People with Disabilities' are aimed at helping you to make your church more welcoming and accessible to people with disabilities.|
|Dementia Friendly Church||
Our Dementia & Faith resource gives the opportunity to build a community of good practice by helping to link people together. There are many things that churches can do to support those affected by dementia and we can all learn from one another.
|Reminiscence Collection||The Resource Centre at Church House now has six Reminiscence boxes available to borrow. These boxes have been created for use in a variety of settings and to support your dementia care provision.|
Dementia Friendly Churches & Communities
|Sheffield Diocese also have a Dementia Friendly Churches page which goes into great detail about the need for dementia care and support in churches.|
|Historic Buildings||If your building is listed, external agencies such as Historic England have a say in any proposed changes. Here is a link to their Easy Access to Historic Buildings document that may help you.|
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