A statue of a hand reaching out, that has been broken and glued back together with goldWhat does it mean to be a disabled Christian?

This retreat offers a safe space for us to share and reflect on our own experiences as disabled Christians, and to discover how a theology of disability can help us to re-interpret our stories and our place in the church as people who are not merely included but who also belong.

At a most basic level there are difficulties in accessing church, from a lack of wheelchair access, overly wordy liturgy or intolerance of difference. These and more are sadly common experiences for many people.

However, for many the real challenges come in the underlying attitudes and assumptions about disability, as well as the questions we ask ourselves about what it means to be disabled.

  • What does it mean to be made perfect?
  • Why did God create me with this mind and body?
  • What does it mean to be healed?
  • What does the Bible actually say about disability?

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Hear Paul Coleman sharing why he’s excited about the event:



Who is this event for?
This event is specifically for Christians in Leeds who identify as disabled.

Can I get in touch with LCI before the event to discuss the content?
Anyone interested in attending the retreat is welcome to have a phone/video call or chat in person with Paul our Faith at the Margins Lead. Contact his at a suitable time by email [email protected] or mobile 07539 736826

Will the facilitators have experience of disability?
All our speakers have lived experience of disability. We will have a chaplain available at the event for pastoral support if required.

Will the venue be accessible?

The venue is accessible for people in wheelchairs and has two disabled accessible toilets.

We would like to make sure this event is event is fully accessible so do let us know your specific requirements for the day.

Is there disabled parking at the venue?

There is limited disabled parking at the venue. If you would like help planning your journey please get in touch with us on [email protected]

Can I be accompanied by my personal assistant or carer?
Yes, carers are welcome. Please indicate any dietary requirements your carer has on the booking form.

Can my personal assistant or carer get involved with the event?

Yes, there will be a separate discussion opportunity for carers if they are interested to join, they can let us know on the day.

I work/volunteer with people who are disabled, can I attend this event?

No. This is an event designed with and for people who identify as disabled. We will share the learning from this event with the wider disability support community after the event.

Who are Leeds Church Institute?
Leeds Church Institute exists to be an active and progressive agent in city life for the benefit of all. We are a faith-based organisation that provides learning opportunities for people in Leeds through events and publications, with a focus on justice, creativity, and partnership.


Running Order

Here’s what to expect on the day. You are welcome to join us for as much or as little of the event as you would like.

10:00 Tea and coffee on arrival

10:30 Welcome

10:40 Short period of reflective worship

11:00 Introduction to models of disability (Medical, Social, Religious)

11:20 Short break

11:30 Sharing stories and experiences in small groups

12:15 Lunch break

13:00 Introduction to Disability Theology: Moving from inclusion to belonging

13:30 Facilitated Breakout sessions:

  • Is my body perfect?
  • What is it to be healed?
  • What does the Bible say about disability?

14:15 Personal and small group reflection: How does this change or impact my own story as a disabled Christian?

15:00 Closing worship

15:20 Conclusion

15:30 Finish