Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Calling from the Edge

We published earlier an announcement of the fringe event held alongside the recent General Synod meeting on 9 February. This was a partnership between St Martin in the Fields and Inclusive Church.

We are now publishing the text of one of the presentations that was given. Fiona MacMillan is a Trustee of Inclusive Church and Chair of the Disability Advisory Group at St Martin in the Fields.

Her talk can be downloaded from this link.

The booklet which celebrates five years of jointly sponsored conferences on disability & church can be downloaded from here.

Information on the earlier conferences is available here.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 21 February 2018 at 4:49pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: InclusiveChurch
Comments

Thanks for the Link to Fiona MacMillan's pdf. One of the footnotes in that text is worth following up on,i.e. re austerity and disabled rights.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/nov/07/uk-austerity-policies-amount-to-violations-of-disabled-peoples-right

The same situation exists here in this part of the world

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2018/02/20/nova-scotia-human-rights-inquiry-hears-lack-of-supported-housing-led-to-15-year-hospital-stay-for-woman-with-disabilities.html

Posted by: Rod Gillis on Wednesday, 21 February 2018 at 5:30pm GMT

Synod has become, sadly, a platform for those with privilege to speak. It should be an opportunity for those in authority to be challenged and to answer but one only needs to read the questions and answers session to appreciate that questions are not valued by bishops and they effectively duck most of them, unless the question is simply seeking statistics.

The disabled - left to speak at fringe events. Survivors of abuse - relegated to the visitors gallery while the Archbishop of Canterbury talks about them. We could go on.

Posted by: Kate on Thursday, 22 February 2018 at 2:10pm GMT

Re Kate, "It should be an opportunity for those in authority to be challenged ..." Perhaps it is like 'Question Period' in the House of Commons? As the saying goes, there is a reason it is called 'question period' and not 'answer period' ( :

Posted by: Rod Gillis on Thursday, 22 February 2018 at 4:18pm GMT

It's first and foremost a sign of lacking imagination. As Fiona says, we all know about physical access to buildings, that's something we can imagine. And if there's only one person in our church with another disability, and if they seem to be coping ok, most people will genuinely not realise what is required and why.

I'm recognising this in myself: with each new friend with a disability I have to make a real and prolonged effort to start understanding from scratch, and I often feel a real inner resistance that takes a stern word with myself to overcome.
Can't she just.... what's wrong with what I’m doing... do we really have to.... these are natural responses.

And I suspect they're also behind the fact that we prefer to talk about people than with them. You couldn't in all honesty admit that you would actually much rather not bother and that you find someone's needs challenging.

Somehow, we need to find a collective way of recognising that we're not very good at integrating new needs into our midst. Unless we’re really honest about that and resolve to put in structures to help us change, we’ll continue to Other people we don’t understand.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Friday, 23 February 2018 at 10:31am GMT
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