New picture book by co-author with Down’s syndrome on inclusion in church communities
Katie Carpenter, a young woman with Down’s syndrome, has co-written a new book to help people with learning disabilities be included in church communities.
Katie wrote Going to Church, part of the Beyond Words series, with Professor the Baroness Sheila Hollins and Professor John Swinton. It is illustrated by Lucy Bergonzi.
She says: “Working on Going to Church was brilliant! I had to go on the train to London for meetings. My friends at Blakedown Church helped me with ideas. I hope the book helps people like me when they go to church.”
Katie lives in her own home and attends college, as well as volunteering at two charity shops and running a Beyond Words book club.
The book was launched on 11th July at the school in Bromsgrove, West Midlands where Katie is a book club leader. In September she will begin an apprenticeship there as a trainee Teaching Assistant.
A full launch will be held at Lambeth Palace later in the year.
Many people with learning disabilities experience loneliness and isolation from the wider community, putting their wellbeing, health and happiness at risk. Churches can provide an important link back to that community, and help give people meaning and purpose.
Going to Church is a communication tool which uses pictures rather than words to help people with learning disabilities or communication difficulties explore themes of church and community. Additional guidance is provided at the back of the book for families, supporters and churches.
The book tells the story of Alan, a young man who discovers what it means to belong to a church community. Alan finds some of the unfamiliar aspects of church difficult at first, but eventually makes friends who help him to become an active part of the church community.
Many people with learning disabilities are interested in exploring religion or want to be part of a church community, but may not have the confidence or the communication to do. Many churches want to be more inclusive and involve people with learning disabilities in their communities but may not know how to go about doing so.
This book will help people to come together and form a common community. Exploring the story will give someone the knowledge and confidence to join in, to meet new people and to generally have a higher quality of life. It also allows supporters and church communities to understand the person and their wishes, and provide them with the necessary support.
For further information, please contact Rachael Plant, Publishing & Marketing Officer, Books Beyond Words CIC.
Telephone: 020 7492 2559
Address: City Lit, 1-10 Keeley Street, London WC2B 4BA