Later edit: Please note that I have now finished interviewing. I am so grateful to all the people who were willing to be interviewed and share their stories with me. The results are on the way!
The ‘Uncovering the Roof’ research project into Christianity and disability is still looking for participants. I’m still organising research discussion groups, and you can still get involved in those. EDIT: I’m also now meeting people one-to-one, and can travel to meet you in a place convenient for you.
People with a range of impairments or long-term conditions are very welcome to take part. This could include those with mental health problems, people on the autistic spectrum, people with learning difficulties, anyone with a long-term condition (such as MS or fibromyalgia), and people in situations more traditionally thought of as ‘disability’, such as those with sight problems, hearing problems or mobility difficulties.
I’m currently particularly looking for a few specific groups: people who no longer go to church, older people, men, and people from BME backgrounds*. That’s because I’m trying make the groups more representative of Christians in the UK today. But people who don’t fit into these categories, are still welcome to get involved! And I’m always keen to talk to people with invisible conditions, as well as those affected by other types of impairment/disability.
Full FAQ is here. So far, the groups have been talking about the negative and positive experiences they’ve had in churches; what inclusion in church life would look like for them; what kinds of barriers get in the way of people’s involvement in church (from physical barriers, to aspects of church culture like standing for hymns or closing eyes to pray); the way theology and ideas about disability are expressed in church, e.g. in sermons/talks, and how people feel about that. Among other things! The discussions have been fascinating, and I’m looking forward to sharing the thoughts and ideas with churches. The more people get involved, the more we’ll be able to do this.
I hope to hear from you!
*black and minority ethnic communities