News reports

Spiritual care of those with disabilities
New conference looks at learning disabilities and spiritual life
(Press Release from the Church of Scotland)

Hope for a “national conversation” on these needs in Kirks
Wednesday, 2 April, 2008
The first ever conference aimed at understanding the spiritual lives of people with learning disabilities takes place tomorrow in Perth.
The event entitled “A Space To Listen” seeks ways in which churches across Scotland can be better suited for people of all needs.

The main speaker is John Swinton, Professor in Practical Theology and Pastoral Care at Aberdeen University. He felt the way congregations approach this subject asks a lot about their identity:

“The church can’t claim to be the church if it doesn’t see people with learning disabilities as vital for the faithfulness of its community.

“The theology of disability is not peripheral or ‘specialist.’ It is in fact fundamental to how we understand what it means to be a human being before God.”

There will also be workshops on pastoral care, worship with people with learning disabilities, listening to people’s experience and stories, as well as an opportunity to look at resources.

Fiona Fidgin, regional development officer of the Church’s Mission and Discipleship council, said:

“The church has not looked enough at the inclusion of people with learning disabilities and it is hoped that this conference will be a springboard for forming a network across Scotland where these conversations can continue, grow and develop.”

The conference has been jointly organised by the Kirk’s Mission and Discipleship, Ministries and Social Care councils. It begins at 10.30am in the Upper Springlands Centre.

Media Relations
Church of Scotland
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Edinburgh EH2 4YN

Tel: 0131 240 2243

Editor 01/04/2008 13:46