Research with disabled people in UK churches (2011-2019 and 2020-1)

My PhD involved a participatory study of the experiences of disabled Christians in the UK. After a later round of interviews and observations, the research has now explored and shared the stories of over 50 disabled Christians. Using a disability studies framework, my thesis looked at their experiences of ableism and hospitality in churches, the barriers many faced to leadership, and their own theologies as these relate to disability, God, faith and church.

Image: Church altar and stained glass windows

For an introduction to the research, download a short booklet written in accessible language.

The book At The Gates: Disability, Justice and the Churches, co-written with Emily Richardson, aims to make the research accessible to a wide audience.

Read the thesis here: The Upside-down Kingdom of God : A Disability Studies Perspective on Disabled People’s Experiences in Churches and Theologies of Disability

I share research findings with disabled Christians and churches as often as I can. My blog has regular updates, or see a list of recent appearances and writing here.

Other research projects


Case study research for the HeartEdge network on member churches’ work in the areas of culture, compassion, commerce and congregation.


Analysis of research by Sisters of Frida into disabled women’s experiences of inequality during Covid-19 lockdowns. Report co-author, The Impact of COVID-19 on Disabled Women. Submission to Women and Equalities Committee inquiry ‘Unequal Impact’.


Research for Starlight Children’s Foundation into children’s experiences of play in hospitals. Report co-author, The Impact of Children’s Play in Hospitals.

Looking for a Researcher?

I’m available for freelance social research with churches, charities and other organisations. Contact me to discuss your project.

Member of the National Coalition of Independent Scholars, the Social Research Association and the British Sociological Association.