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Problems practicing your religion?

JennyFJennyF Member Posts: 14 Connected
edited January 2019 in Disabled people
Hello
A disabled member of my family has had many problems over the years accessing churches and church life. Although some church communities are very compassionate and inclusive, she has had  difficulties varying from those which are no one's fault, (eg old and inaccessible church buildings), through to treating her like a half-wit, all the way to refusal to believe that she has a problem (her disability is largely invisible). The latest and amongst the most painful is the withdrawal of some very simple provisions made for her by the previous vicar, apparently because someone in the congregation doesn't like it. This was accompanied by a refusal to discuss alternatives and the comment "No one gets any special treatment". This incidentally is in a church that tolerates small children running up and down the nave during services. Discrimination, I think!
There seems to me to be a particularly unpleasant attitude in many church congregations to disabled people, and I wondered how widespread this was and whether it affected other religions than Christianity?

Replies

  • Pippa_AlumniPippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,851 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks for sharing this with us @JennyF, and I'm so sorry to hear about your family member's experiences. I don't think this has been discussed on the community before, so it'll be interesting to hear others' thoughts.
  • Richard_ScopeRichard_Scope Posts: 2,725

    Scope community team

    Hi @JennyF I'm really glad that you have raised this question. My local church is pretty good but the wider church, not so much. When speaking to anybody from the hierarchy it's as though they are encountering a new species or something!
    Could I ask what provisions have been withdrawn?
    Scope
    Specialist Information Officer - Cerebral Palsy

    Want to tell us about your experience on the community? Talk to our chatbot and let us know. 
  • JennyFJennyF Member Posts: 14 Connected
    Hello Richard
    I'm reluctant to go into details as I fear that could lead to my relative being identified, and if that happens it's likely that the situation will never improve as my relative will be treated like a pariah for causing trouble. 
    The provision didn't impact anyone else as far as my relative could tell, and the only reason withdrawal seems to be that it involves my relative doing something slightly different from most of the congregation. 
    My relative is deeply hurt by what has happened. Personally, I'm just furious.
  • Richard_ScopeRichard_Scope Posts: 2,725

    Scope community team

    I can understand why you would both be unhappy. Perhaps a meeting with the vicar/priest might help?
    Scope
    Specialist Information Officer - Cerebral Palsy

    Want to tell us about your experience on the community? Talk to our chatbot and let us know. 
  • JennyFJennyF Member Posts: 14 Connected
    Hello Richard

    You'd think that, wouldn't you? In  fact it is the minister who has withdrawn the provision. My relative had the most horrible upsetting conversation with him out of the blue. How do you have a discussion with someone who closes you down with the comment 'no one gets any special treatment', and then refuses to budge?


  • teejays1617teejays1617 Member Posts: 92 Courageous
    Hi JennyF
                     I really feel for you because you should not be treated like you are.
    The founder of our Christian faith Jesus Christ himself would not treat you like this.He will always welcome anyone into his house .
    If you cannot reslove this problem by writing to the bishop for your area
    Try another part of Christianity like many of the Baptist churches or Evangelical churches
    If you get refused entry to the church by your local vicar quote the most powerful
    words to him from the bilble
    HE THAT COMETH TO ME I WILL IN NO WISE CAST OUT
    THIS IS THE WORD OF GOD WHICH IS A MILLION TIMES MORE POWERFUL THAN mans word
  • Richard_ScopeRichard_Scope Posts: 2,725

    Scope community team

    Without knowing all of the circumstances it is really hard to advise. Is there anybody who could act as an advocate for your relative?

    Scope
    Specialist Information Officer - Cerebral Palsy

    Want to tell us about your experience on the community? Talk to our chatbot and let us know. 
  • JennyFJennyF Member Posts: 14 Connected
    teejays - thank you for your words, which are comforting.

    Richard - there is a possibility that another minister will get involved, so that may help. I'll try to keep you posted.


  • Richard_ScopeRichard_Scope Posts: 2,725

    Scope community team

    Keep in touch @JennyF
    Scope
    Specialist Information Officer - Cerebral Palsy

    Want to tell us about your experience on the community? Talk to our chatbot and let us know. 
  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @JennyF So sorry what your relative has gone through.

    I had this myself a number of church organisations..  To think that the message be all encompassing and except every one . Thought I be OK.

    Never met so much discrimination and so much inequality.

    Had one church went to where attendance was minimal after a few weeks. Found and got treated badly by a congregation.  Including one certain person who insists poking making fun of me.

    I do feel for you.  I have to say any problems have you spoken to some one senior. This is not good at all.  Writing to some one senior in the church you have.  Might be an idea.

    Practise my faith on my own. Do not go to church.  For a variety of reasons as I have stated.

    Always in prayers.

    Please take care.

    @thespiceman
    Community Champion
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