Where does the name ‘Roofbreaker’ come from?
The name comes from the Bible account where some men break through the roof to help their disabled friend meet Jesus (Luke 5).
What does a Roofbreaker do?
- If you already know of disabled people in your church…
Spend time listening to the challenges that disabled people are experiencing and take note what the church is doing well to enable them to participate. Encourage your church to respond to any issues that are raised.
- If you are not aware of disabled people in your church…
Encourage your church to introduce you as a Roofbreaker (e.g. newsletter, social media, notice board). It is likely that there are disabled people you have not yet met, and it is important for the church to be prepared to welcome all.
You can also introduce our free disability awareness training course to your church leaders. Follow this link for more about the training.
Who can become a Roofbreaker?
Anyone who has a heart for Christian disability inclusion can become a Roofbreaker! You don’t need to be in church leadership, and you don’t need to be an expert on disability. The most important quality is a willingness to listen to disabled people, and a commitment to help your church/ministry to be adaptable, so that everyone is welcome to participate.
You can also have Roofbreaker team. We are happy to explore this idea with you – just ask!
Do I have to be disabled to be a Roofbreaker?
No. We have many disabled Roofbreakers, but you don’t have to be disabled.
Do I need consent from my church to sign up as a Roofbreaker?
No. You can sign up initially without the consent of your church/Christian ministry, but Roofbreakers are more effective when their church/ministry recognises the importance of disability inclusion. We recommend you let your church leadership know that you have signed up. We are happy to answer any questions.
How will my church know I am a Roofbreaker?
Being known within your church/Christian ministry is key to being an effective Roofbreaker. We suggest you encourage your church to introduce you (preferably with a photo) on your church noticeboard, newsletter, and social media. It will also be useful to introduce yourself at church meetings and on the church website.
What is an Area Roofbreaker Network?
Area Networks currently meet online every few months. The purpose of a network is to connect to other Roofbreakers with shared vision to share experiences, learn new ideas, encourage each other, and pray. We will put you in touch with the right network for you.
How can our church/Christian ministry and TTR work together?
- Book online Church/Christian ministry Disability Awareness Training – free for churches/ministries with Roofbreakers [Follow this link for more on training]
- Join our online map [Follow this link to our online map]
- Download the Church Disability Toolkit and the 'Removing Barriers' church audit - free for all churches with Roofbreakers [Follow this link to download the toolkit]
- Visit our online shop (50% discount on resources for Roofbreakers) – [Follow this link to our shop]
- Connect with Roofbreakers through Networks or on our Roofbreaker Facebook group [Follow this link to the Facebook group]
Is there a cost involved?
- No. There is no cost to sign up as a Roofbreaker.
- Your church might want to financially support Through the Roof by having a collection, or making an annual donation [Follow this link to our donation page]
Are Roofbreakers only needed in churches?
No. We believe Roofbreakers are essential for Christian ministries as well. For example, we have a network for rural churches that responds specifically to their unique needs, and one for people involved in ministry to the Deaf community.
What is the plan?
It is our prayer that churches/Christian ministries will share our vision. We currently encourage, support and resource over 600 Roofbreakers across the UK and have faith that more Christians will commit to making a real difference.
I want to sign up – what is the next step?
Home Is Where The Heart Is (Ros' Blog)
Currently, I’m living in a sort of limbo. Having got married at the end of September, we’re spending most of our time in my husband’s house, but going back to mine some days, especially at weekends to share Sunday lunch with my eldest daughter who lives nearby. Eventually we will settle permanently in the house that was my husband’s and is now ours.
But at present we’re having renovations and building work done – in particular a new entrance on the side of the house that will provide wheelchair access so that two of our daughters who are wheelchair users will be able to come and visit once the pandemic is over and such visits are allowed. This means all relaxing, working, cooking and eating is restricted to the spare bedroom, with boxes of food, a microwave, a kettle and a computer crammed into the room.
All this has made me start asking myself questions about where is home. When I first moved into my house, more than 9 years ago, I had a very strong impression on the day I moved in that I wasn’t just moving in as a single woman but that God was moving in with me as my husband. As it says in Isaiah 54.5, “Your Maker is your Husband, the Lord Almighty is his name.”
But now I have a human husband, too, and he has taken me into his home as his wife. So where is home now? And the answer to that question is, wherever my husband is. The physical location is unimportant. The thing that makes it home is the fact of being together.
There’s a parallel with this in our relationship with God, too. Sometimes we encounter circumstances in our lives that make us feel unsettled or disorientated, and we lose that sense of being at home. It might be the onset or worsening of a disability or illness. It might be financial circumstances that cause us difficulty. It might be a fractured relationship that makes us long for reconciliation.
God has a wonderful promise for us. In John 14. 23, Jesus says this: “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”
If we truly love God, and set our hearts on following Him in obedience and trust, God the Father and Jesus the Son and God the Holy Spirit will come and make their home with us. No matter what external circumstances we might be facing, we can still feel we are at home, safe and secure. Because home is not a physical location, it’s being with the people whom we love and who love us. And when the one we love is God Himself, and He has come to make his home with us, we can feel at home wherever we are and whatever is happening.
Have you experienced God’s presence at home with you in times of difficulty? We would love to hear your story if so! Why not get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your story?
Disability Inclusion in my Church/Ministry
Jesus reached out to people on the margins of society - people who were disabled and excluded. The Roofbreaker project aims to equip churches and ministries to do the same, and to be able to fully include disabled people.
Have a Roofbreaker (or team) in your church – find out more here
Our biggest recommendation to churches and ministries is to have an allocated person (Roofbreaker) or team, to listen to disabled people to see what their challenges are to fully taking part in your activities. Often the challenges will be things you haven’t thought of and may need relatively small changes to enable full inclusion. Our Toolkit will help you to think through each area of church life and give ideas to enable inclusion.
The key is to give a positive message of welcome to disabled people and to LISTEN and then respond to the issues raised.
For churches/ministries with Roofbreakers, Through the Roof provides the Church Disability Toolkit and the ‘Removing Barriers’ church audit free of charge, along with free disability awareness training. Follow this link for more on the Toolkit, church audit and training.
We also help you to show disabled people in your community that you are positive about disability inclusion through providing our online map, and we offer a logo for your website.
Free Church/Ministry Resources
Church Disability Toolkit – available free of charge to each church with a Roofbreaker. A series of downloadable guides covering the various areas of church life and how they each have a part to play to facilitate the full inclusion of disabled people. This is an essential toolkit for any church wanting to ensure that the whole church is working together to include disabled people.
‘Removing Barriers’ Church Disability Audit - available free of charge to each church with a Roofbreaker. ‘Removing Barriers’ is a self-assessment questionnaire around the main themes of: The Message You Give, Having a Culture of Disability Inclusion, Arrival and Welcome, Enabling Everyone to Take Part, Belonging, Discipleship and Growth. This will help you to think through your whole church/ministry’s approach to disability inclusion.
Disability Awareness Training for churches
Great News… we are pleased to offer each church with a Roofbreaker a free workshop to include as many different roles within the church as possible. Disability is not something that just one person within the church needs to be aware of, this is part of the ministry of the whole church.
We are currently running these workshops over Zoom, and will tailor them to suit the needs of your particular church.
What funding is available for churches wanting to make their building or activities accessible? Follow this link to read our guide to possible funding organisations
The Equality Act – making church buildings fully accessible – a briefing paper from the Church Growth Trust
Through the Roof events are held throughout the year. Details will be sent to all Roofbreakers and posted online.
Other useful information for churches – follow this link to some useful Church Resources
Training + Resources
FREE workshop exclusively for Roofbreakers and their churches
(This will be delivered online via Zoom)
- See how your church can break down some of the barriers that may prevent disabled people from fully taking part in church life
- Learn from Jesus’ approach to disabled people
- Suitable for all roles within your church – people involved in leading, teaching, online church, children’s work, welcoming, audio visuals, property, website, small groups, pastoral work… Everyone!
- Updated to include learning from lockdown
Free Deaf Awareness Video
Find out how to welcome deaf people to your church, including communication tactics, ideas to help inclusion and suggestions regarding prayer. The video is presented by Revd Neil Robinson in British Sign Language, with subtitles and voice-over. It’s a great resource to share with your church or group. Neil is a Chaplain to the Deaf Community and leads our Deaf Ministry Roofbreaker Network. Follow this link to watch Revd Neil's Deaf Awareness Video, or follow this link to download Rev Neil's Deaf Awareness video to use in a presentation (click on the three dots towards the top of the video page, and select 'download' to download the file. Please be aware that it's a 615MB video file, so it might take a while to download).
Bespoke training workshops
Through the Roof is also able to offer bespoke training workshops tailored to you specific needs. If you are interested, or would like to find out more, please get in touch for a conversation.
Resources for Roofbreakers
Free Church Disability Toolkit - providing downloadable guides for the different roles within a church – including church leaders, audio visual team, welcomers, children’s ministry, and much more. You will be given details of how to download these resources free of charge when you join us as a Roofbreaker.
Free ‘Removing Barriers’ church audit - Through the Roof’s self-assessment resource for churches and ministries aiming to ensure that disabled people are fully welcomed and included. You will be given details of how to download this audit free of charge when you join us as a Roofbreaker.
50% discount on Through the Roof publications – including our best-seller ‘Be A Roofbreaker’ with sections outlining ideas for the different challenges that disabled people might face when accessing your church or ministry.
A downloadable logo – for your church website, to show your church is positive about disability inclusion.
An invitation to appear on our online map - for churches who are positive about disability inclusion.
Support online or in person - in Roofbreaker Networks, meeting with other Roofbreakers; as well as monthly emails, a Facebook group and events.
Advice from one of three Regional Roofbreaker Co-ordinators who cover the nations and regions of the UK, to encourage disability inclusion in all churches.
Join our Online Map
- Once you have a Roofbreaker (or disability champion) in place, give the message to disabled people that they are welcome at your church/ministry and that you are ready to listen to them to find out how you can enable full inclusion.
- Our online map shows churches and ministries in the UK that have a Roofbreaker disability champion who is committed to disability inclusion. This doesn’t mean they have perfect access and get everything right, it means that they are wanting to welcome disabled people and respond to enable them to be fully included.
- The Statement of Values and the benefits of joining the map is here: Values and benefits of joining the map
- Follow this link to add your church/ministry to the map.
This map shows churches and ministries that have a Roofbreaker/contact person to discuss any disability issues with. Roofbreakers are disability champions who are positive about disability inclusion. The map also shows our Roofbreaker Area Networks.
Roofbreakers at churches/ministries on this map agree with the following values: Values and benefits of joining the map
Rural Roofbreakers Network (UK wide)
Contact Lynda Herbert, or via the TTR office 01372 749955
The rural network aims to offer mutual support and ideas for Roofbreakers and church representatives from around the UK, looking to make the rural church experience accessible and welcoming to all. Meeting on zoom last Saturday of February, June and October, please email for link.
Deaf ministry Network (UK wide)
Contact Janet Eardley or the TTR office 01372 749955. A Network offering mutual support for people involved in ministry with the Deaf community. All meetings are accessible in both BSL and English.
Facebook group for all Roofbreakers
Wherever you live, the Roofbreakers Facebook group will connect you with other Roofbreakers to share ideas and encouragement. Follow this link to visit the group.
Support for Roofbreakers
Here to support you…
- Monthly ‘bite-sized’ emails will keep Roofbreakers up to date with latest news and events.
- The ‘Roofbreaker Team’is here to support and encourage Roofbreakers. Please contact them by email.
- Free training is also available to all Roofbreakers and their churches/ministriesFollow this link to find out more about training
- Free resources – a Church Disability Toolkit and ‘Removing Barriers’ – a church access audit, are available free of charge to all Roofbreakers. Follow this link for more information.
- 50% Discount is given to Roofbreakers in the online shop for Through The Roof resources -- Follow this link to the TTR shop
- Area Roofbreaker Networks - Join with other Roofbreakers in your local area. Networks are a great way for Roofbreakers to share ideas locally and encourage each other. Have a look on our online map to find out where your nearest Network is.
- We are always looking to encourage more area Networks, so if there isn’t one in your area yet… there may be soon! Contact us if you are interested.
- Deaf Ministry Network - we have a network linking Roofbreakers across the UK who are involved in ministry among the Deaf community
- Rural Roofbreakers – we have a network specifically for Roofbreakers in rural areas facing the particular challenges found in village church life.
- Roofbreaker Facebook Group – Our Facebook group for Roofbreakers enables online contact and engagement for Roofbreakers. Follow this link to join the Facebook group.
We hold regular events throughout the year – either online or in regional venues when that is possible. The events raise awareness and bring specialist speakers to share their own experiences of disability inclusion. Roofbreakers will receive invitations to these events.
Register to join the map
Thank you for considering joining our online map – you will be joining with others across the UK to show that your church/ministry has a Roofbreaker / disability contact who is positive about disability inclusion. Fill in the form below and we’ll get back to you very soon. If you’d like to find out any more before registering, please have a look at the values and benefits of joining the map or follow this link to email Janet at Through the Roof
Joining the map doesn’t mean you have perfect access and get everything right, it means that you are wanting to welcome disabled people and want to respond to enable them to be fully included. Follow this link to see the map.
By submitting this form I confirm that I am authorised to provide this information to be included on the Through the Roof online map and publicity.
Through the Roof Charitable Trust Ltd. is a UK Registered Company number 04201510 with offices at Alpha House, Alpha Place, Garth Road, Morden, Surrey, SM4 4TQ. It is also a Registered Charity Number 1087788.
Sign up to Become a Roofbreaker
Thank you for considering becoming a Roofbreaker - your membership of this movement is going to help transform lives and enrich churches all around the UK. Fill in the form below, and we'll get back to you very soon. If you'd like to find out any more before signing up, please follow this link to email Janet at Through the Roof. All the fields marked with a star are required for the form to submit.
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