At the Gates

Disability, Justice and the Churches

Naomi Lawson Jacobs and Emily Richardson

978 1 913657 18 5
Paperback |320 pp |228 x 155 mm
Price: £14.99

978 1 913657 19 2
eBook |320 pp

‘At the Gates is a phenomenal journey. It transports the reader into the world of the disabled person who loves Christ. It then points to a world and a church which attempts to disable the image of Christ in so many. The book exposes the ablest tendencies many institutions and individuals perpetuate. Through strong theological rigour and a variety of gifted storytellers, we learn to encounter God within all, we are asked to provide access with all, create bespoke tables to accommodate all, and design liturgies which include all. It points forward with many practical and necessary steps, for a renewed church within our world.‘

A.D.A France-Williams, priest, author of Ghost Ship

‘Naomi Jacobs and Emily Richardson know that example is the best teacher, testimony the best advocate, but argument, persistence and reframing are needed if change is to come about. They long for a church that looks more like God and a society that inhabits God’s reign, and they provide relentless examples, moving testimonies and compelling arguments for what would change and how things could be if the voices and lives of people with disabilities were permitted to reshape the culture of communities. This is an elegantly structured and profoundly argued case for a very different but much holier and more faithful church.’

Sam Wells, Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields, London

‘Churches should be inclusive and accessible for everyone, and sadly all too often barriers still remain in place. I am pleased that this book has drawn on the lived experience of disabled people, and I hope it can act as a turning point to encourage Churches to ensure they do everything in their power to be inclusive for all of us.’

Marsha de Cordova MP

Based on extensive research, Naomi Lawson Jacobs and Emily Richardson have collected prophetic and transformative narratives of experience, shared directly by disabled people who have rarely been enabled to speak in Christian books about disability. By centering disabled Christians’ own stories, this book calls for churches to move from a care-based approach to disability, to one that is focused on justice, equality and access to churches for disabled Christians.

Naomi Lawson Jacobs (they/them) is an independent social researcher and disability equality trainer, who works in the voluntary sector and in churches. After an MA in Disability Studies, Naomi’s PhD in Study of Religions (SOAS, University of London) was based on research with disabled Christians, whose stories have contributed to this book. Naomi is on the planning team of the Inclusive Church/St Martin-in-the-Fields disability conference, and they write and speak widely on disability and justice in church and society.
Emily Richardson (she/her) is a writer and speaker whose interests include theology, inclusion and communication. She studied theology at St Andrews and now works for a large church as communication coordinator. She is active on social media and has spoken on inclusive communication at various Inclusive Church events.
ISBNs: 9781913657185 978-1-913657-18-5 Title: at the gates ISBNs: 9781913657192 978-1-913657-19-2 Title: at the gates