Guest Blog

Introduction to the Bishops' Advisor for Disability and Inclusion Issues

Last August (2016) I was appointed as the Bishops' Advisor for Disability and Inclusion Issues.  Much has happened (personally and within the Diocese) since then, and it is only now that I am able to start working on this role.  So, a little about me, a little about the role, and a little about how we work together.

I am Revd Katie Tupling, Vicar of Dore and Priest-in-Charge of Totley.  I was ordained in Derby Cathedral 2003, and came to Sheffield in 2013.  My husband Chris is a Primary School Teacher (currently on a phased return to work whilst on dialysis for Renal failure) and we have a son at Dore Primary School.  My background pre-ordination is in youth, families and children's work (in Birmingham). 

I was born with Cerebral Palsy - diagnosed when I was 2 years old - and have walked with elbow crutches since 1992.  I have served on General Synod (2005 - 2010), Archbishops' Council Committee for Ministry of and among Deaf and disabled people (2006 - 2010), Disability Task Group for the Church of England's National Disability Advisor (2014-2016) and am a founding member of 'Disability and Jesus' (began in 2014).

The Bishops' Advisor role can be summarised under 4 headings:

  • To provide practical information, links and resources for clergy and laity in parishes on disability and inclusion in the Church
  • To help formulate diocesan policies and procedures for parishes and churches on disability and inclusion issues
  • To raise awareness and engagement on disability and inclusion
  • To convene a Disability and Inclusion Issues Working Group

I would very much like to hear from Churches and Mission Partnerships who already have Disability Policies in place, and how well they might be working.

In order to convene a Working Group I am interested in talking to people who might want to be part of it.

It would help me to know what kind of resources you might want, and in what format - ie websites, printed information, video links, a personal visit etc...

I look forward to hearing from you - remember this is a voluntary post, and I need to get the right blend of Role and Parish responsibilities!

Revd Katie Tupling

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Comment by Gordon Gill on 9.53am 10th April 2017 Hello Katie, I am sure we would love to help. I am Head of Church Giving at Livability, the national Christian disability charity. I joined Livability in 2016 through the merger of Prospects for people with learning disabilities where I was Director of Marketing and Fundraising with responsibility for our ministry in churches. In 2015 I launched Ability Sunday with the intention of getting churches to think about the gifts people with disabilities bring rather than their disability, i.e, thinking about what they can do, not what they can't. The first year the keynote theme was from Psalm 139 with the following film. We are planning Ability Sunday this year with the theme, 'who is my neighbour' and what Jesus meant when he challenged us with 'Love your neighbour as yourself'. We will be putting all of our resources and films on the Livability website. The following is a film we (Prospects) partnered with Spring Harvest to produce in 2016 and shown at all of their venues. kind regards Gordon
Comment by Robert Wilks on 9.29am 5th April 2017 Dear Katie, I have considerable experience in the area of disability/Special Educational Needs and I would be most interested in any work within and outside the diocese that helps people who are disadvantaged.

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