The St Stephen’s Church rebuilding project in 2007 enabled us to improve some aspects of accessibility into the main church building.
A car park is available adjacent to the church hall including three spaces reserved for Blue Badge holders. Additional on road car parking is available in surrounding streets.
Wheelchair Access and Seating
There is level access from the car park to the Church, although the path has a slope. The main body of the church has easy wheelchair access through the main door. This is wide enough for all wheel chairs and scooters. An alternative entrance is via the Church porch however here there are two steps of around 5″. This entrance is typically only used on request for weddings or access to the memorial for Remembrance day services, so the main door will still always be available. Welcomers are on duty at all Sunday services and should be able to provide help in most cases. Most of the seating is in chairs fixed into groups of three. However single chairs with arms are available down the main aisle of the church. Wheelchair users have several choices as to which part of the church to use for services and there is space at the back of the church for a larger scooter. Again, please do ask for assistance if it is not obvious.
Some midweek services can take place in the chancel. Most of the seating here is in older comfier chairs but access to this area requires two steps. Alternatively access can be arranged via an internal door to the vestry
At various times during the service the minister may invite the congregation to stand; you are welcome to remain seated if this is more comfortable for you. Holy Communion is served at the front of church and is accessible by wheelchair users. Alternatively you may choose to receive communion in your chosen seating area, can you please make your wishes clear to someone from the ‘Welcome’ team (wearing a badge to make their role clear) if you find this useful.
Toilets are available in the Cross building adjacent to the church. The Cross operates as a nursery during the week which means that the level access door requires admittance from a member of the Rainbow staff, however this is the only access available to the disabled toilet. When the nursery is in session a single toilet is available via the steps in to the Cross. On Sundays all toilets are accessible either via the level entrance door as well as the steps.
Audio and Loop System
A sound amplification system is in use at the Sunday Services. A loop system is available on the left hand side of the church (ie the East side).
Most services use a combination of service sheets or booklets and overhead projectors onto two screens at the front. Larger print versions of the liturgy may be available on request. Liturgies can usually be emailed to members of the congregation in advance by the office manager by prior arrangement. This may be useful for people wishing to print the service out in giant print or in Braille. The flexible seating allows worshippers with visual impairments and guide dogs to select a suitable space to sit. If you require assistance to find a suitable seat please ask one of the welcome team on arrival.
Members of the congregation with young children seeking sanctuary during quiet parts of the service are welcome to use the Cross which usually operates with Toddler and Child related activities on a Sunday. Members of the congregation who are breastfeeding infants are welcome to do so anywhere on the premises. Baby changing facilities are available in the accessible toilet in the Cross.
This website uses WordPress and an Accessibility plugin in order to try to make the site easier to navigate using screen-readers. Please don’t hesitate to advise us if you see any problems, we are very much beginners at this.
Making St Stephen’s More Inclusive
Comments about making St Stephen’s more inclusive are always welcome and can be made to the Church Office.