Added on 30/10/2012
This has been a remarkable year in raising the profile and increasing public awareness of people with disabilities as sportsmen and women competed with total passion and commitment at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. There is, therefore, no better time than this to raise awareness at the local level of disability within the life of the Church: to celebrate participation and to encourage greater involvement of people with disabilities of every kind. The third Sunday in November has been designated as Disability Awareness Sunday – now an annual event in the Church of Ireland. This year it falls on Sunday 18 November and the Standing Committee’s Working Group on Disability is encouraging parishes to mark and participate in the day as creatively as possible.
The Revd Canon Dr Will Murphy, Chairman of the Working Group, says; ‘The purpose of Disability Awareness Sunday is to help churches focus on disability not just for one day but for that day to lead to ongoing inclusion of people with disabilities in the life of the Church. The day will provide churches with an opportunity for people with disabilities to take part in the services and through this and other ways to raise the awareness of disability among the church community in general. There are various helpful resources for parishes to use such as those produced by ‘Through the Roof’, which is a brilliant organisation, offering advice and guidance through its website as well as its publications. Grove Booklets are also very helpful. Of these, Mark Bredin’s True Beauty: Finding Grace in Disabilities is excellent in explaining the importance of every church being inclusive in relation to people with many different disabilities. I trust everyone can get involved with enthusiasm in this initiative in 2012 and beyond.’
Details of useful resources are given below.
Resources for Disability Awareness are available on www.ireland.anglican.org/resources
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