Access Statement

INTRODUCTION

St.Oswald’s Church in recognition of its significance is a Grade 1 listed building.  A church has been on this site since at least 1269 and despite many alterations over the centuries currently there are limits in its facilities for disabled people. This access statement is aimed at helping you to know what to expect if attending a service or visiting the church.

CAR PARKING

There are three Blue Badge holder parking spaces adjacent to the Lych Gate. Limited parking is available adjacent to the school but please note that this is usually busy during school hours. There is also additional parking beyond the school building.

ACCESS

To reach the church the most accessible path is the one straight from the Lych Gate, which has a gentle slope down to the Church Tower. For wheelchair users and those with limited mobility there is a ramp over the step into the tower then a ramped entrance into the church. There is a small step at the entrance of the South porch then further steps into the church

INSIDE THE CHURCH

The nave of the church has box pews, which cannot easily be modified so it is difficult to accommodate wheelchairs in the main body of the church. However proposals for the removal of some pews to make space for wheelchair users and accompaniers are currently being progressed and improvements have recently been authorised by the Diocesan Advisory Committee.

There is one step into the chancel (altar) area of the church and there is a ramp available for wheelchair users who wish to access the chancel area. There are steps up to the Shackerley Chapel (side chapel). These steps can sometimes be difficult to negotiate for those with limited mobility and those who have difficulties in using steps may need assistance.

The church is fitted with an induction-loop system for the benefit of hearing-aid users. The public address system is used at all services. Large print hymnbooks, and service booklets, are available

At various times during a service the Vicar may invite the congregation to stand; you are most welcome to remain seated if this is more comfortable for you.

It is our practice for the bread and wine of Holy Communion to be taken to anyone who might find difficulty in accessing or climbing the chancel steps. Please inform a Church Warden or sidesperson if you would find this helpful.

Coffee, juice and biscuits are normally served in the Shackerley Chapel following the 11.0am Sunday morning serviceYou will be most welcome to stay for a while after the service to continue the fellowship and take the opportunity to meet other members of congregation. Again, if required, members of the church will be pleased to assist in obtaining refreshments for you.

TOILET

The church has a fully accessible unisex toilet facility, including a baby change unit for use by those attending services. It is located in the northeast corner of the church. Access is via the pathway on the north side of the church to the left of the Bell Tower

November 2017