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Sarah snuffs out exclusion at Wiggenhall 

Churchwardens Angie Yeoman and Carolyn Cast from Wiggenhall St Germans won a Through the Roof award after they appointed Sarah as Chief Snuffer.

Sarah used to feel a bit left out at church: “I have Down’s Syndrome and severe hearing loss,” she said. “As I do things slowly people don’t always know how to talk to me. I felt excluded because everyone had a job, and I didn’t, even though I wanted to help.”

Things changed earlier this year when Sarah’s Churchwardens, Angie Yeoman and Carolyn Cast, spoke to Sarah to try to help.

“Angie and Carolyn asked me if there was anything I would like to do as they wanted to include me. I am now the ‘chief snuffer’. I snuff out the candles after the service. I also read the Bible lesson sometimes, I like to do this. I am also part of the washing up team, we have a lot of fun while doing jobs.”

Sarah was so pleased about having these roles in her church that she and her mum Lesley nominated Churchwardens Angie and Carolyn for a Luke 5 Award from Christian disability inclusion charity Through the Roof. The award certificate was presented in the Harvest festival on Sunday September 18.

Annette Stuart from Through the Roof said: “It’s essential that every church and community not only serves disabled people, but also listens to and encourages everyone to serve in a role themselves.”

Through the Roof trains and equips churches and other organisations to be inclusive of people with any disability. It publishes resource material, runs short term overseas missions, distributes refurbished wheelchairs in developing countries and runs accessible holidays, among other programmes. It also makes the Christian gospel accessible to everyone affected by disability – disabled people and their families.

To find out more about the Luke 5 Award celebrating Christian disability inclusion, and how your local church could help, visit www.throughtheroof.org

Pictured above is Sarah snuffing out a candle and, below, the presentation of the award. From left to right: Lesley (Sarah’s Mum), Angie Yeoman, Sarah, Carolyn Cast.  


Eldred Willey, 30/09/2022

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