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ST JOHN’S METHODIST CHURCH
WHITCHURCH SY13 1QT
Disabled Access – Statement of Need
Below, please see a submission made by one of our young Mums who struggle to get inside our church each week.
I have one year old twins and a double buggy that I struggle to get into church. There are 3 entrances, all presenting different problems;
Main entrance – if both doors are open the entrance is wide enough, however, there are 3 steep steps and the twins and their buggy are now too heavy to lift up the steps, even with help. I have now stopped using this entrance.
Back door – the doorway is not wide enough for the double buggy. To use this entrance I need to shrink the buggy and therefore have to leave the twins either in the car, or on the floor inside the building depending on whether I’m arriving or leaving. This is not ideal.
Disabled access (through the toilets) – whilst the outside door is wide enough for the buggy, the door from the toilets into the guild room is too narrow. It is not practical for me to use this entrance.
I’m fortunate that I have lots of help from family to get in and out of church, however, there have been occasions when I have felt the effort to get into the building too great and therefore off-putting on a Sunday morning.
The church holds a mid week Toddler Group and other parents also struggle with access and double buggies.
Hope this helps,
Below please see a submission from someone who recently attended a concert at our church.
4th December 2016
To whom it may concern.
On the 3rd December 2016, I attended a concert at St. John’s Methodist Church, Whitchurch, Shropshire. The concert was organised on behalf of the Town Band.
Being part of the audience, I was asked to assist lifting a person in a wheelchair into the church so they could attend the concert. The four people approached for this task were all in their late sixties. This is because the church has no disabled access.
The person in the wheelchair was able to vacate the wheelchair and occupy the last of the comfortable chair seats. However, the person accompanying the wheelchair user was unable to sit with the person, as we have very limited chairs.
In the interval, the disabled person had to remain in the church, while the rest of the audience went into the schoolroom for refreshments. It was fortunate that it was a cold winter evening and not a wet one, as the audience made their way round the outside of the church to the backrooms. A doorway directly from the church to the ancillary rooms would be of great benefit.
At the end of the concert, assistance was yet again required to enable the disabled person to leave the building. Twenty years on from the Disabled Access Act, this is unacceptable.