Naomi storytelling at the 2019 Culture Access disability arts festival. Cr: Howard Jones.

I am a disabled, autistic social researcher – I research, write and speak about disability and Christianity. My PhD, in sociology of religion, researched disabled people’s own experiences of churches and Christian faith (2019). At The Gates: Disability, Justice and the Churches, co-written with Emily Richardson, will tell the stories of these disabled Christians. As they share their struggles to access and participate in churches, these disabled people speak back to a Church that has always told their stories for them. They are calling for justice for all the disabled Christians who have been left waiting at the church gates.

I am available as a speaker for conferences, events and study days. My disability equality training for Christian faith communities draws on ten years of research, and many years of teaching and training experience, equipping churches to become places of disability justice.

As a disability advocate of 25 years, I’m part of a growing movement of disabled and neurodivergent Christians calling for change in churches. And I’m a storyteller, who finds God in experience, on the edge, and on the rough roads that will one day be level ground

You can find me on Twitter here

What You’ll Find at this Website

My research on disability and churches

Visit the Research page to learn more about my research into disabled Christians’ own experiences of churches and faith, and why this crucial research has been a long time coming.

Lived experience matters. For too long, disabled Christians’ stories have been told by other people.

There is plenty of theology for us and about us, but very little written by us or with us.

As our stories have been marginalised, the church gates have been closed to us. As an activist researcher, I aim to centre the stories and theology of disabled Christians, whether they lived experience of disability, neurodiversity, chronic illness, mental distress or learning disability. Our shared experience can change the conversation on disability and Christianity. Our stories can transform churches into places of justice for disabled people.

In my ten years’ experience as a disability researcher, I’ve worked with not-for-profit organisations, Disabled People’s User Led Organisations and church networks.

Articles about the disabled Christian movement

Visit my blog ‘At the Gates’ to read about current happenings in the UK disabled Christian movement.

The disabled Christian community has been left waiting outside the gates of the church. But here, at the base of the Temple steps, powerful things can happen when we share our experiences of disability, faith, church and society.

Here, on the edge, ideas take shape that can change everything. And not just for us – for the whole Church.

In my blog, I cover the theology, events and writing produced by the community. And I share theology and thought on disability, churches and justice.

Disability Equality Training for churches and organisations

Your church or organisation needs Disability Equality Training. If you’re not convinced of that yet, keep reading.

On my training course, you’ll learn about the ableism disabled people face in society and religious communities alike. My course will show you how to dismantle barriers and share radical hospitality with disabled people – and how to receive the same from us.

Based on what I’ve learned from ten years of research into disabled people’s experiences, my training can help churches to start on a journey of transformation, creating cultures of access and becoming places of disability justice.

My speaking and training experience has included conferences, churches, community groups, care services, education providers and the media. 

Resources for churches on disability inclusion

Visit the Resources page to find resources, tips and advice for making your church more radically hospitable to disabled people.

When I speak at churches and events, leaders often ask me where they can find resources to help them make their churches more accessible to all. Over the past few years, disabled Christians have been generously sharing some wonderful resources with churches. I’ve shared them here.