While walking around William Lench Court I bumped into Eric Bridgewater, an avid fitness enthusiast and Christian. He had mentioned how he travelled to different churches and made them disability-friendly to me in the past, so I asked if he’d like to share. This is the story in his words:

I became a Christian when me and the wife had a few problems, I soon realised there wasn’t disabled people there. I started a course at Westhill College to hopefully become a vicar but ended up becoming a pastor instead. Part of the course involved writing a thesis on something related to the church, I decided to do mine on disability in the church, after checking the figures it turned out that less than one percent of disabled people actually go to church. So I set out to find why and I sent a letter to a disability magazine, there were lots of replies (many awful ones). I told the bishop and he said to go around and see what I can do, I went to many places in the Midlands as well as Devon, Nottinghamshire, London and the Lake District talking about how they can appreciate disabled people in their church. I went around with a measuring stick to get ramps built and usable toilets, I actually did a church very close to here. They wanted my advice in the ways to make churches accessible to the disabled, so everyone can join in.

The process of me going around to the different churches, showing them how to cater to disabled people lasted for about two years and after writing to the magazine, someone actually wrote a newspaper article about me and what I was trying to do at the time.

        Eric Bridgewater - William Lench Court resident