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Inclusive Church

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The four churches of the Barrow and Wolds Group are members of the Inclusive Church Network. Inclusive Church is a network of churches, groups and individuals uniting together around a shared vision. Churches within the Inclusive Church Network seek to celebrate and affirm every person and to be places of welcome and inclusion for all people regardless of disability, economic power, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, learning disability, mental health, neurodiversity or sexuality. The Barrow and Wolds Group of Churches supports and shares the Inclusive Church Vision Statement. 

You can find out more about the inclusive church network, including how to join as an individual member here: https://www.inclusive-church.org

The Inclusive Church Vision Statement is:

“We believe in inclusive church – a church which celebrates and affirms every person and does not discriminate.

We will continue to challenge the church where it continues to discriminate against people on grounds of disability, economic power, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, learning disability, mental health, neurodiversity, or sexuality.

We believe in a Church which welcomes and serves all people in the name of Jesus Christ; which is scripturally faithful; which seeks to proclaim the Gospel afresh for each generation; and which, in the power of the Holy Spirit, allows all people to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Jesus Christ.”

About Inclusive Church

Inclusive Church is an educational charity (no. 1102676) founded in 2003. Although originally Anglican in origin, we now work with churches of different denominations encouraging them to explore ways in which they may become more inclusive.

  • We work in partnership. We value our strong working links with a number of different organisations.
  • We work with churches. We have a national directory of hundreds of churches that have registered with us as 'Inclusive Churches'.
  • We work with individuals. Inclusive Church is very much a ‘grass roots’ organisation. As a charity, the work and support of individuals is vital to our work. Individuals can also join Inclusive Church.

The story behind Inclusive Church

Inclusive Church was initiated in 2003 in response to a particular incident within the life of the Church of England. The Rev’d Dr Jeffrey John was nominated as Bishop of Reading and subsequently the nomination was withdrawn when it became publicly known that John was in a long-term same-sex relationship. The anger felt by so many about this withdrawal led to the creation of an online petition, asking individuals and churches to support what became known as the Inclusive Church Vision Statement

The response was immense and soon the Petition reached nearly 10,000 signatories. Subsequently a small group of supporters met to consider this overwhelming response, and concluded that a new charity called Inclusive Church should be formed.