News release: Journey with Jesus for Disability Awareness Week 2024

News release: Journey with Jesus for Disability Awareness Week 2024

News release: Journey with Jesus for Disability Awareness Week 2024

Disability charity Through the Roof is inviting churches to celebrate Disability Awareness Week. Everyone is encouraged to include local disabled people and to hold a service on Sunday 22nd September 2024, or a day of their choice. A free church resource pack is available here on the theme ‘Journey with Jesus’, featuring ‘Andrew’s story’ of his life-changing accident.

Plans for an action-packed Disability Awareness Week

Disability Awareness Week will begin on Sunday 15th September 2024 with a launch service which will be live-streamed on YouTube. The launch service will be led by Revd Helen Cameron, who will be President of the Methodist Conference. Helen is one of over 700 ‘Roofbreaker’ disability champions with Through the Roof, who listen to disabled people in local churches and work together with them to enable full inclusion. The charity hopes every church will nominate a Roofbreaker!

During September’s awareness week, churches are encouraged to find ways to meet with disabled people in their community. Suggestions are to hold a coffee morning with home-baked cakes and invite local disabled people. Or hold a social gathering, with craft activities or music that everyone can enjoy. Or come up with your own great ideas.

Why is disability inclusion in church important?

Churches often have outreach to youth but rarely think about disabled people and the Great Commission. But Jesus said they should be included in God’s great banquet: ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the town. Bring in those … who can’t see or walk ... compel them to come in so that my house will be full.’ (Luke 14:23, NIrV)

There are many barriers disabled people can face on their journey to join, or be fully included, in church fellowships. Accessibility of church buildings isn’t the only barrier for disabled people. There are lots of invisible barriers too, such as challenges fitting in socially and feeling you belong emotionally. That’s why we’re inviting churches on the ‘Journey with Jesus’ towards disability inclusion, to enable Access, Belonging and Commission of disabled people, to use their giftings in the Church.

Free resources available for Disability Awareness Sunday

The Disability Awareness Week resource pack shares more about the ABC Journey with Jesus. The pack includes a video story of Revd Andrew Miles, a retired pastor and wheelchair-user from Derby. God has called Andrew as a hospital chaplain, using the empathy and understanding gained from his accident and lived experience of disability. He says: 

“I think because I'm in my wheelchair, people are a little bit more ready to listen. I hope that by my journey, my faith, they can see that God has brought me through one of the most challenging times... and He stayed with me. And here I am still ministering, still preaching the Word, seeing lives changed.”

Join us on the journey – Hold a Disability Awareness Sunday service or event in your church.

Order a free Disability Awareness Week 2024 resource pack, available at:

Through the Roof’s mission is to transform lives through Jesus with disabled people. For more information, visit or @TTRChangesLives on social media.

Luke 5 Award for Parish Nurse Roofbreaker

Luke 5 Award for Parish Nurse Roofbreaker

Through the Roof’s Luke 5 Award celebrates disability inclusion in Christian life. Usually, a disabled individual makes the nomination – to celebrate how an individual, group or church has made a difference by enabling them to access Christian life in some way. This time, we have several disabled people telling of how they are now able to access Christian life, thanks to Madeleine Watts: winner of a Luke 5 Award, as Parish Nurse and Roofbreaker at St Saviour’s Parish Church, Great Moor, Stockport.

“We have an amazing Gospel ... but is it accessible to all?”

Madeleine has encouraged the church to make great strides forwards for accessibility, including having large print available, reorganising pews for wheelchair users, and making sure a microphone is used in all meetings so that everyone can join in. As Madeleine herself says “We have an amazing Gospel to proclaim but is it accessible to all?”

This has really made a difference to several disabled people in the church…

“Madeleine insists all church meetings members use a microphone. So now I can hear everything that is said.”

“Thank you for organising the pews. I can put my wheelchair anywhere I wish not just at the front or back. Thanks Madeleine.”

“I can see large books now in church.”

Working side-by-side with Parish Nursing Ministries UK

Madeleine is a Parish Nurse at St Saviour’s Parish Church, Great Moor, and we are pleased that Through the Roof was asked by Parish Nursing Ministries UK to give some training about disability inclusion.

A lady in a blue T shirt, sat at a table holding someone's arm (who is not in the picture) and taking a reading of their pulseParish Nursing Ministries UK ( support Christian communities across the UK to establish Parish Nursing services, promoting health and well-being. Every Parish Nurse is a Registered Nurse, employed through a local church or Christian organisation.

Through the Roof and Parish Nursing have been able to work side by side, and here we see what a difference Madeleine has been able to make for those in her church.

We love to hear about and celebrate disability inclusion in Christian life. Our Luke 5 Award is for any disabled person to make a nomination to recognise the difference that’s been made. Follow this link to make a Luke 5 nomination.