Accessible Church

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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.

For churches, this could include considering physical access to the church, parts of the interior, use of WCs, noticeboards, churchyards and paths, as well as the mental aspects of accessibility such as the method of service delivery and tailored accessible content.

There are restrictions, processes and permissions required for any physical or visual changes you may consider. For more information on this please visit the Church Buildings pages of the Sheffield Diocese website Click Here

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. 

Click Here

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.

Click Here

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.

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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.

Click Here


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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

Click Here


Disclaimer:  Whilst we are careful to distribute and recommend appropriate information and resources to benefit our members in their learning, the events publicised, news articles, downloaded resources such as documents, audio or video or on website links, do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of St Peter’s College or the Diocese of Sheffield.  

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