On Sunday 15 July we celebrate ‘Rural Mission Sunday’, the theme of which this year is ‘Growing together’. Rural Mission Sunday is an opportunity to celebrate the life of the rural church and is promoted by the Arthur Rank Centre (a Christian organisation that supports rural ministry).
Social isolation is now a real problem for our society as a whole, but the challenges can be even more significant in rural areas. Those who live with a disability are particularly vulnerable to social segregation. They may have difficulty in getting to local events; venues may not be suitable for their needs and even when amongst others some may still feel excluded.
A booklet entitled: ‘A Church for Everyone: Listening to Disabled People’ is based on suggestions from disabled people about what they appreciate as members of the church, what they find difficult and what would be helpful to them. Their views were gathered by a working group from the churches in the Anglican Dorchester Deanery. The booklet provides practical insights about what might enhance the lives of disabled people and signposts useful addresses and resources available locally and nationally. A contributor, said: ‘We like to contribute to our community and be treated like anyone else. Sometimes we need a bit of help and it is nice to be asked about what matters to us’.
Hazel Morgan, who led the working group, said: ‘We know that sometimes disabled people can feel marginalised and not just in church communities. We hope that by listening to disabled people, we have produced practical guidance which can make a difference to people’s lives.’
‘A Church for Everyone: Listening to Disabled People’ can be downloaded from the following website or a copy can be found in our churches: www.dorchesteranglican.info/churches/st-peter If you are, or know of, someone who would like to come to church but has difficulty in getting there or someone who finds church services a challenge through hearing or sight impairment please do let us know how we can help. We look forward to welcoming you to our Rural Sunday Services on 15th July.
May the God who created you bless you with love.
May Jesus continue to walk with you through the world.
May the Holy Spirit help you to grow together in unity.
May the Holy Trinity hold you in peace this day and always. Amen
(A blessing for Rural Mission Sunday.)
Revd Jean Saddington, Team Vicar, The Winterbournes and Compton Valence.