The Norfolk and Norwich Christian community website

Fiona Gosden
Norfolk churches urged to welcome disabled people

Fiona Gosden has moved to Norfolk to take up a role with a local organisation. As a wheelchair user she urges Norfolk churches to consider how welcoming and accessible they really are.

Fiona is Church Inclusion Coordinator at Through the Roof, a charity that provides opportunities for disabled people as well as equipping the Christian community to fully involve disabled people. The charity’s name comes from the Bible account where some men break through the roof to help their disabled friend meet Jesus (Luke 5). Through the Roof has recently launched a map tool to enable people to find churches that are positive about disability inclusion.

Fiona said, “I’m a Christian, and a wheelchair user. Many churches don’t realise how difficult it can be for disabled people to find a church to belong to. Having recently moved to Norwich, I’m looking forward to exploring new churches, and excited about using our own new map to help me! I’d love to know if I would receive a warm welcome at your church and find a community where I can belong and play my part in God’s kingdom—so please do visit the map, and submit your own church so we can tell others about you.”

When Fiona first became a Christian, she was apprehensive about finding a church that she could belong to as a wheelchair user. She found that information was available on Google maps, but it did assure her that he would be welcomed.

Fiona said, "Joining the map doesn’t mean your church has perfect access and gets everything right, it means that you are wanting to welcome disabled people and to respond by enabling them to be part of your church.

Churches can welcome disabled people by taking these two steps:
1) Have a Roofbreaker (disability champion) in your church.
2) Join your church to The Online Map to show that you want to welcome disabled people.

Through the Roof will support Roofbreakers by...

  • Providing a FREE 2 hour Zoom Disability Awareness workshop
  • Giving access to our free downloadable ‘Church Toolkit’
  • Helping you to discover more of the benefits of having a ‘Roofbreaker’ in your church through ongoing support, monthly emails, events, Facebook and Roofbreaker Networks.
Sign up to become a Roofbreaker here.

Join the map here: https://www.throughtheroof.org/2020/11/25/sign-up-to-join-the-map/

Pictured above: Fiona Gosden

Helen Baldry, 12/05/2021

Helen Baldry

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