I am a Church Army Evangelist (Lay) currently working in Derby Diocese on a one year project to write a Disability Inclusion Strategy. Previously I worked in disadvantaged communities both as a pioneer and as a parish evangelist in a team ministry.
I have a desire to see 'disabled disciples' fulfil their calls in a variety of leadership roles in our churches including as ordained priests (and bishops!). I believe that representation matters and God's call should be encouraged without the assumptions and value judgements of others building unnecessary extra barriers. My experience is that we live in a disabling society that needs to be challenged to remove physical, societal and emotional barriers to disabled people and that the Church also needs to respond to this opportunity to learn from and include those on the outside.
I am a disabled person who lives with constant pain and mobility issues and have also struggled with anxiety in the past. The physical impairments developed over the last 15 years and have made me reflect deeply on my relationship with a God who loves me, as I am, and a church who sometimes tries to blame me for, what they perceive, as my brokenness. I have worked comfortably across many church traditions and find God in creativity and exploration within them all.
I would best support a disabled person and/or someone who comes from inner-city or council estate background. I would walk alongside them and provide some extra support to help them respond to God's love for them as they grow, as who they are.
I have a silly sense of humour at times and a loud laugh, which helps me negotiate life. I enjoy spending time with people playing the French Horn in Orchestras and Board gaming with friends.