The Methodist Church is committed to ‘Justice, Dignity and Solidarity’. We believe that all people are uniquely made in the image of God, and we aim to live this out in the Church and in our communities. To celebrate the rich diversity of people within the Methodist Church, and to ensure that all can be full participants in the life of the Church.
Part of this commitment is to strive to have an EDI Champion in each District, to advise, enable and equip churches and circuits as they ensure these key principles are embedded into everything we do – always striving to be a fair, inclusive church.
In the Southampton District we are creating an EDI team – a group of people passionate about these issues to share the work, and to support each other as they give support to our churches and circuits across the District.
While the team are established, please do see below for resources if you are starting to have local conversations in your circuits and churches
Online EDI events coming up
The South-East District are delighted to host two online EDI events.
These are open to anyone across the Connexion.
Neurodiversity - Bendy Bodies; Bendy Brains (Tuesday 23 May from
We are delighted to share that Dr Jess Eccles will be delivering an online talk via Zoom. Dr Eccles will talk about her work on how common differences in the body are related to neurodiversity. She will explore research findings with implications for wider recognition amongst the public and scientists alike. Dr Eccles is a Clinical Senior Lecturer at Brighton and Sussex Medical School, University of Sussex.
Registration link is
Empowering People with Sight Loss (Wednesday 12 July, 7.30 to 8.45pm) Being sight loss friendly is a state of mind. But if you’ve never encountered a blind or partially sighted person in your church, you may have questions around how to make them feel welcome and include them in all aspects of their church visit. Among other things, we will be talking about: Lived experiences of visual impairment and how it affects people differently; What churches can do to be inclusive and welcoming and how Torch Trust can help. Do join us for this online talk. It is open to all presbyters, local preachers, those in leadership roles and members of congregation.
Registration link is:
Useful summary of EDI and JDS priorities
Summary of EDI and JDS 2022.docx
DOCX file, 16.57 KB, last modified 11 months ago.Download
EDI - a starting point
EDI - starting point.docx
DOCX file, 107.88 KB, last modified 11 months ago.Download
Inclusive Language Guide
The EDI Officer role
Solidarity circles are a way of the Methodist Church supporting people in different diversities of the Church’s life through offering regular on-line opportunities to meet, to support one another, and to raise with relevant Church leaders the concerns that need to be addressed.
The first Solidarity Circles to be established will be:
- Solidarity Circle for Disability
- Solidarity Circle for LGBT+
- Solidarity Circle for Racial Justice
- Solidarity Circle for Women
Please see here for more information
Finding funding for an accessible church
Disability charity Through the Roof has created a webpage to show churches and ministries where to find funding for building work to improve disabled access. It’s available now on their website and at this link: https://bit.ly/ObtainFunding
Katie Mobbs from Through the Roof shares: “I’m a Christian, and a wheelchair user. It can be challenging to access some church buildings in my wheelchair, as many have steps, heavy doors and fixed pews that limit access. Many churches want to open up their buildings more for disabled people but are not sure where to start. That’s why I’m excited about our webpage about funding for access improvements! I’d love all churches to know there are funding bodies that want to help – so please do visit the webpage and tell others about it.”
“My own church is really positive about disability inclusion and it is wonderful that they want to make sure everyone is able to have full accessibility and a chance to belong in church. We know that finances are tight for churches currently – so it is more important than ever to know how to get funds.”
Making your church more accessible is a journey – you don’t have to get everything right straight away. Just get started and remember that small things can make a big difference.
Here are some key tips from the webpage about finding funding:
1) There are many different funding organisations for churches such as the National Churches Trust or the Benefact Trust – many offer advice as well as sources of funding.
2) If your church building is used for community activities, ensure you flag that to funders – many more funds are available for community-used buildings than for church-use alone.
3) Building work to provide access for disabled people is zero-rated for VAT – make sure you get an appropriate certificate to give to your builder so you don’t pay VAT.
Find out how your church can be blessed by the full involvement of disabled people at: https://throughtheroof.org/forchurches/
About Through the Roof:Through the Roof is a Christian disability inclusion charity whose name is inspired by the Bible account in Luke 5. Our mission is to transform lives through Jesus with disabled people.