Ramping Up Church Disability Inclusion

With a generous grant from Benefact Trust, disability inclusion charity Through the Roof is ramping up its ‘Roofbreaker’ project to triple the support for disabled people in UK churches.

Only 5 to 10% of disabled people ever hear the gospel in their lifetime (Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization). Roofbreakers are local volunteer disability champions who enable disabled people to encounter God’s love. Benefact Trust’s funding will help Through the Roof to recruit more Roofbreaker champions to increase the number of disabled people supported from 9,000 to 30,000 within three years.

One Roofbreaker used technology to include a Deafblind lady who is partially sighted and uses British Sign Language. It made a huge difference and the lady responded by saying: 

I looked at myself as a nobody in the past. I didn’t think much of myself because people didn’t have much patience with me. But now … I’ve started finding identity which I never had before… it’s helped me totally accept myself for the first time. You have given me a voice that a lot of people can understand.

Benefact Trust funding will recruit three Regional Co-ordinators to build up local Roofbreaker networks across the four nations of the UK. Funds will also be used to provide specialist resources and support, equip disabled Christians to lead training, and organise events so churches catch the vision for disability inclusion.

Katie Mobbs, Through the Roof’s Outreach Co-ordinator who is a wheelchair user, is passionate about the difference Roofbreakers are making in churches:

I think the most important thing is giving people a place to belong within church life. We want to see disabled people welcomed and enabled as part of the church family. My passion is for disabled people themselves to be empowered; to see that the disability that they face can be turned into a mission opportunity. Thanks to Benefact Trust’s support we can multiply the difference we are making.

Chloe Ewen, Grants Officer for Benefact Trust, said:

We feel privileged to support Through the Roof, as they work to make churches and faith more inclusive for disabled people. Everybody should feel empowered and have equal opportunities to thrive. To be able to support Through the Roof to triple their support for disabled people is amazing.

Benefact Trust is one of the UK’s largest grant-making charities and awarded more than £23 million to churches, charities and communities in 2020. Its funds come from its ownership of the Benefact Group.

Through the Roof trains and equips churches and other organisations to be inclusive of people across the whole spectrum of disability.

Find out how your church can be more inclusive of disabled people at: https://www.throughtheroof.org/roofbreakers/.

Written by: Morris, Alice

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