Disability and Inclusion

We want everybody to feel welcome and included at our services and events and hope that this information will help if you visit our churches. There is further information on our other pages so please do browse our website.

St. Michael’s

St. Michael’s is a very old building and has flagstone flooring. It has high-ceilings and sound travels well in the church (with no silent spaces). We have a Tower Room which can be used as a quiet space, but this is not soundproofed so you will still be able to hear the service. After the service, when the Choir uses the Tower room, there is a small chapel behind the organ (on the left of the church) that can be used as a quiet space.

Our entrance from the High Street is flat, with no steps. However, the entrance at the Tower door has two steep steps and, whilst normally only used by the Choir, this door is also an emergency exit (emergency exits are signposted). The Vestry door also has steep steps. Our main entrance has a porch, please be aware that at times (such as winter) the inner doors may be closed but there are signs to show which door to use.

Our lighting is primarily from electric LED bulbs in chandeliers and we also have large windows. At the altar (and for special services around the church) we do have lighted candles.

We have a superb hearing aid loop system and our services are conducted using a microphone and speaker system. We use service booklets and hymn books at our services and have larger print versions available so please do ask if you require one of these.

We have a pipe organ and a choir who lead the singing during Sunday (and some special) services.

At St. Michael’s we currently have fixed seating in the form of pews, but there are areas of the church which have no pews, such as the South Transept, the Tower Room and the Nave. All raised areas (except the pews themselves) do have ramps or slopes for access. It is easy to see all parts of the church from the main body of the building, and it is possible to walk around from one part to another.

We have both an accessible toilet and standard toilets in Church House, which is behind the church. If you wish to use the toilet, please talk to a Sidesperson (who greeted you when you arrived) and they will take you there. As our building is so old, there is currently no facility for a toilet inside the building.

After the service, refreshments are available in the South Transept. There are some comfy chairs, which you are welcome to use, or you are welcome to sit in a pew or to stand if you prefer. We keep the drinks and kettle on low tables to the left of the South Transept as you approach but this is not in the way of the walkway.

There is a detailed description of the structure of our services at St. Michael’s so that you know just what to expect when you get here. Please click this link for the information.

For our Order of Service Booklets, please click here.

For details about our Place of Welcome, please click here.

St. Mary’s

We have a wide doorway and slope into our entrance lobby and church, however,  there is a small step into the Hall and steps at the Unity Street door (which is an emergency exit). If you need any assistance with the steps please ask and we will assist you as appropriate.

There is quiet space available in the church hall attached to the back of the church, where at times, there are tables and chairs. There is also seating available in the entrance lobby if you need somewhere comfortable or a safe space to go.

In the building we have an accessible toilet with a baby change facility as well as standard toilet facilities.

St. Mary’s church has free-form seating, which means the chairs are movable. The church floor is carpeted, the entrance lobby and toilets’ floors are lino, and the hall’s floor is wooden.

We have a loop for hearing-aid users, and all of our services use a microphone and speaker system. At St. Mary’s we use a screen on the right hand side of the church for the order of service, hymns, prayers, readings and notices. The person leading the service may also guide us through the format.

The lighting in the church hall is from fluorescent lights (these can be kept off if required, as the windows are large). The lights in the church are high-level spotlights. We have lots of windows, but most of our light is artificial.

Emergency exits are signposted, there is one in the church hall, the main entrance and also on the opposite side of the church.

After services, we may join together in the hall where refreshments are available. Many people choose to stand but there are chairs and tables available, which you are welcome to use. If the these are not set up please do ask if you need one.

We also have a fully equipped kitchen. We try to keep the kitchen door shut when the kitchen is in use, but cannot guarantee it always will be. We do request that you please do not enter the kitchen unless you are one of the team serving refreshments.