Inclusion and Additional Needs at St Paul’s
The Bible describes the church as a body made up of many different parts (1 Corinthians 12:12-27). Each part plays a significant role and is valued. So, at St Paul’s we highly value every individual, and want to help everyone, no matter what their age, physical or relational capacity, to belong and participate in the life of our church.
Here are just some of the ways that we aim to make belonging easier for those who have additional needs:
Karen Large is our Inclusion Coordinator. She brings with her a wealth of experience and a heart to help children and adults with additional needs participate in the regular activities of the church. If you have any questions or concerns about how you or your child might be included in a regular St Paul’s activity, she would be happy to discuss this with you.
Additional Needs Area
During the 10.30 Sunday service, the chapel to the left of the church building is reserved for families who need to make use of an additional needs area. There are ear defenders, cushions and some sensory toys plus some helpful Christian literature. If you like, you can sign into the guest book and suggest anything else that might help you or your family.
Throughout the week there is one disabled parking space at St Pauls. On a Sunday there are 3 spaces reserved for blue badge holders.
Accessible Ramp and Electric Doors
Towards the front of the church building we have a ramp that leads up to the left-hand side of the doors. There is a button which opens the electric doors.
We have accessible toilets on the first floor and ground floor of the corridor off the concourse.
There is a large changing mat for people who have outgrown the baby change facilities available for use in the downstairs accessible toilet.
On the glass doors as you enter the church sanctuary, there is a visual timetable reflecting the order of service for those who find this helpful. We also use a visual timetable in some of our children’s groups.
Makaton sign language is used in our All Age Services for at least one song and the opening liturgy. In Stepping Stones (babies) and Tumblers (toddlers), Makaton is used to tell the Bible story and to say ‘Thank You’ to God. Children in Scramblers (3 years until Reception) are also encouraged to use Makaton to say ‘Thank you Jesus’.
If you would benefit from using the NIV accessible Bible, there are a few copies in the Additional Needs Area (chapel) which you are welcome to use. Please do return them there after use.
If your child needs extra support integrating into our regular children’s groups, we would love to talk to you about it. We are able to accommodate children with all sorts of needs and love to help families to belong at St Paul’s. Speak to Tori (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Karen Large for more information.
Be Inclusive Group (B.I.G.)
We have a monthly support group for parents of children with additional needs. We meet every last Thursday of the month in The Lounge (upstairs left), St Paul’s Church, from 7.45pm til 10pm. If you would like to come along or would like more information, contact Tori (email@example.com)