Transform your church into a welcoming arena for everyone

Dave HallByDave Hall

Transform your church into a welcoming arena for everyone

A YouTube channel for the UK’s 1.5 million adults with learning disabilities has expanded during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Launched initially with daily Bible readings and thoughts for Holy Week and Easter, Count Everyone In now includes Ascension to Pentecost and includes simple worship songs and signing of The Lord’s Prayer.

Pete and Christine Winmill are keen to inspire and equip the Church to be more welcoming and accessible to adults with learning disabilities. They believe the whole approach to church life needs extra consideration, not just the reliance on being able to read an order of service, hymn book or words on a screen.

‘We want to challenge and encourage church leaders and congregations to think of how their church or group can be transformed into a welcoming arena for everyone, especially people with learning disabilities,’ said Pete.

The third member of the team is Janneke Klos, a senior social worker with adults with learning disabilities and a Makaton tutor.

At Christian festivals and events the couple and their teams of volunteers have led simple – but not childish – programmes based on the theme of the event. 

‘We believe God gives gifts to all Christians, able and dis-abled. Our aim is for each of us to express our faith and utilise the gifts God has given us to spread the message of Jesus and to encourage the church so it grows strong,’ added Pete.

The range of daily devotionals, also available in print at £2.50 each, is being expanded. Count Everyone In offers three training days which they hope soon to deliver face to face once again:

  • Know and Grow 1 – foundational training for ministry with adults with learning disabilities
  • Know and Grow 2 – supplementary training addressing relationships, mental health, healing, death and bereavement as they affect people with learning disabilities  
  • Know and Grow Makaton – an introduction to key word signing for Christian worship, teaching and communication.

Find out more by visiting Count Everyone In

Photo: TV personality Timmy Mallett meets Heidi Crowter, a visitor from a church in Coventry.

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About the author

Dave Hall

Dave Hall author