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Recordings & Transcripts

Enabled Church Conference 3 June 2014



Audio Recordings: Due in the main to the very limited time available to set up beforehand, the audio recordings of the day are not of high quality. We apologise for this but hope they will still enable you to gain something from the rich content that the speakers brought to the conference.

Transcripts: As well as audio recordings there are transcripts of the many of the conference talks. These have been provided by Orla Pearson who provided the Speech to Text service on the day. They are largely unedited so please read them with this in mind. At this time no transcripts are available for the Streams. (An offer from a volunteer to transcribe from the recordings would be welcomed:

The Text from the Presentation Slides used in some of the Streams was processed by Torch Trust into braille and large print for use on the day and the large print PDF files can be downloaded below …

Enabling Church presentations handout 17pt

Enabling Church presentations handout 25pt

Contact Churches for All if you want a braille copy of the presentations handout – it will be provide by Torch Trust

Morning Plenary Session

Hosts: Sophia Nicholls and Michael Sharkey

Read transcript of opening session with Michael Sharkey & Sophia Nicholls

No audio recording available due to technical issues

Welcome: Rt Revd Clive Gregory, Bishop of Wolverhampton

Due to a technical that affected recordings in the early part of the conference this recording is of very poor quality. We are hoping to replace it soon and/or offer the Bishop’s script.

Play audio recording of Bishop Clive’s address

Read transcript of Bishop Clive’s address

Worship: led by James Bowden

Video address: Joni Eareckson Tada, Joni and Friends

Watch the video address by Joni Eareakson Tada

Read transcript of the video address by  Joni Eareckson-Tada

A church for all – abled, disabled, enabled: Roy McCloughry

What does it mean to be “Enabled” or even “an Enabling Church”? Is this a new buzz word? Or a deep insight into the nature of the gospel? How can those who are abled and those who are disabled become one community in a world wishing to keep them separate because it is convenient to pretend that the ambition and power of the abled are the norm for a successful life?

Play audio recording of Roy McCloughry

Read transcript of Roy McCloughry’s address

Interview: Canon Gill Behenna and Roy McCloughry with Dr Gordon Temple

with a Prayer of Blessing by Rt Revd Clive Gregory, Bishop of Wolverhampton

Play audio recording of the interview and Bishop Clive’s prayer

Read transcript of interview and prayer

Enriching Deafness – making connections: Canon Gill Behenna

Knowing God Without Words: Revd Prof John Swinton

On knowing God: Advanced dementia and profound intellectual disabilities. At first glance, the connection between people experiencing advanced dementia and people with profound intellectual disabilities is not obvious and we would be wise not to confuse or conflate the two experiences. One is an experience of deep loss and the other is simply a story of being in the world in a particular way. What holds the two together is the question: What does it mean to know God when either you have forgotten who God is or you don’t have the symbolic and intellectual capability to know God in the ways that many religious traditions might expect you to? That is no small question! Prof Swinton will examine this question and look at exactly what “knowing God” means and how such knowledge works itself out in the lives of people who are deeply forgetful and those who need to come to know God in a world without words.

Play audio recording of John Swinton

Read transcript of  John Swinton’s address

Afternoon Plenary Session

Enriching Deafness – making connections: Canon Gill Behenna

Over the last 30 years in Deaf ministry, I have constantly been challenged to make the Gospel relevant to Deaf people but I want to think about this from a different angle. As a hearing person, I will talk about some of the ways in which I have been enabled by the ministry and theology of Deaf people and suggest some ways in which we can “make connections” so that all can benefit from the insight of people who have different perspectives.

Play audio recording of Gill Behenna

Read transcript of Gill Behenna’s address

Interview: US author Randy Lewis is interviewed by Roy McCloughry

Randy talked about his new book, published 15th May by Lion Hudson, No Greatness Without Goodness: the inspiring story of how he changed the lives of thousands of people with disabilities. After watching the world through the eyes of his own autistic child Austin, Randy was determined to use his position and influence as a corporate executive of Walgreens in the US to create a workplace where people with disabilities could not just succeed, but thrive. The result was two productivity leading distribution centres where 35 per cent of employees were people with disabilities. The Walgreens success serves as a model for other employers in the US and abroad including P&G, Marks & Spencer and Boots. Randy says, “When it comes to our issues around inclusivity and the use of our power, I can think of no better example than Jesus himself.”

Play audio recording of Randy Lewis interview

Read transcript of  Randy Lewis interview

Panel Session: Helen Wordworth, Hilary Beard, Lawrence Banks, Canon Gill Behenna with Roy McCloughry

Play audio recording of the Panel Session

Read transcript of the Panel Session

Making a World of Difference: Revd Jonathan Edwards

As we conclude our day together, Jonathan will remind us that God not only goes with us but equips us for the journey ahead. We are facing tough and may face tougher times but working together we can enable our churches to rise to the wonderful opportunities of welcoming everyone, irrespective of their background, ability or disability.

Play audio recording of Jonathan Edwards
Read transcript of Jonathan Edwards’ address
Worship: led by James Bowden

Closing remarks: Dr Gordon Temple

Play audio recording of Gordon Temple

Read transcript of closing session with Gordon Temple


There were four parallel STREAMS to chose from. They were run before lunch and repeated (more or less!) after lunch, so you can choose two.

Disability: Beyond inclusion

This Stream seeks to demonstrate that the church is a place where each one of us can be whole people.

The content will reflect that – through personal testimony and topical themes – we, as God’s children, seek to share our understanding that ‘disability’ in all its forms is not just a ‘special interest’ but an important  issue to God, and, therefore, for the whole Church.  Our desire is for the Church to become welcoming, accepting communities which witness to God’s amazing grace and love for all people, whatever our life circumstances. Contributors will present on: living with autism; the importance of identity; and a pastoral response to welfare reforms.


  • Chair: Roy McCloughry
  • Coordinator: Tim Wood
  • Haydon Spenceley
  • Ann Memmott
  • Cristina Gangemi
  • Revd Jonathan Edwards

Play audio recording of Disability Stream (morning)

Dementia, ageing and onset of disability

How do you help someone who is just beginning to realise that their future activities are to be limited by a deteriorating health issue? And how do you provide pastoral care for their partner and/or family members? If it’s a dementia diagnosis, that may be even more difficult to face. This interactive seminar will look at how the church can best help… what can be said and done and what things are not helpful. Bring your questions and comments.


  • Chair: Revd Prof John Swinton
  • Coordinator: Dr Helen Wordsworth
  • Dr Gordon Temple
  • Dr Jennifer Bute
  • Trevor Adams
  • Louise Morse

Play audio recording of Dementia Stream (morning)
Play audio recording of Dementia Stream (afternoon)

Deaf stream: in British Sign Language

If Deaf people are to be included in the life, witness and leadership of the Church, then the Church needs to enable them to feel at home and able to participate. We hear from Laurence Banks, who is the Ministry Director of Go! Sign, a Deaf-led Christian charity, about some of the ways in which Deaf people can be enabled in all aspects of the Church. Laurence will also help us think about how the language and culture of Deaf people give a unique perspective on theology and worship.

Also joining us for the Deaf Stream is Susan Myatt. Susan is Deaf and uses BSL. She is training for ordained ministry in the Baptist Church and we will be asking her about the joys and challenges of her work.

Contributors & Speakers:

  • Coordinator: Canon Gill Behenna
  • Lawrence Banks
  • Sue Myatt

Play audio recording of Deaf Stream (morning)
Play audio recording of Deaf Stream (afternoon)

Families and carers

Run in partnership with Care for the Family

The church has a great opportunity to support parents and carers of children with additional needs. How do we make these families welcome? How do we move beyond welcome to inclusion? How do we make the transition from seeing those with disabilities as recipients of care to identifying, releasing and supporting their unique gifts within the church?

This stream will share stories, offer tips and bring encouragement for churches looking to engage more meaningfully with parents and their children. There will be bite-sized opportunities to share your own ideas in small groups. Speakers from Care for the Family and Urban Saints will explain what their organisations can offer to support your church in its ministry in this vital area.

Contributors & Speakers:

  • Chair: Hilary Beard
  • Beth Mellor
  • Pippa Ankers
  • Mark Arnold
  • Kay Morgan-Gurr

Play audio recording of Families & Carers Stream (afternoon)


Diocese of Lichfield and Premier Christian Radio.