Access Statement

Introduction

We welcome everyone to our Church and include anyone who is disabled for whatever reason, their families and friends. We are a thriving and expanding congregation and the Church and its facilities form a focal point of the local community. This statement is intended to cover both the Church, the Parish Room and kitchen/toilet extension.   It is intended to help you to know what can be expected of our buildings and practices.

Church Access

Church Services are held every Sunday at 11am and at 8.30am on the first and third Sunday in the month. There is also a Communion Service at 10.30am each Thursday.  Services are also held on special religious days and these are advertised in the Weekly Parish Notice sheet. In addition, the Parish Notice sheet also contains details of forthcoming Baptisms, Funerals and Weddings, together with church social and community group events held in the Parish Room.
These activities include, the Art Group, Pilates, the Community Club, Tiddlywinks, Police local liaison meetings and it is also used for Electoral voting days.  Church events include Coffee Mornings, Spring and Autumn fairs and the annual Barbecue can attract over 200 local people.  All these events are advertised by articles in the Heywood Advertiser newspaper and posters or banners outside church, as well as our website. Tea, coffee and refreshments are also served in the Parish Room after the 11am service on Sundays to which all are invited.
The Parish Room is in use on most days or evenings during the week.
If any member of the public wishes to view the Church or use it for private prayer, at any time outside the normal opening times, arrangements can be made with the Priest-in-Charge whose Telephone contact number is displayed on the Notice board outside the front entrance on Manchester Road and again on the Parish Notice Sheet.

There is no Church car park but there is ample free and unrestricted parking in adjacent streets off Green Lane and Manchester Road.     There are two gates to reach the two Church entrance doors, both are on Manchester Road at the front of Church.  In front of the entrance doors, there are two stone steps whose edges are clearly marked and each one has handrails to assist access.  Each access point into the church consists of two doors that make up the entrance.  They open inwards and are always open when services are held.  A Sides person will be in attendance, to accommodate wheelchair or pushchair access.  The area inside the doors is clear and readily accessible.
There is also a disabled ramp and entrance on the right hand (south side) footpath.  This is clearly marked and is constructed of tarmac and stone with a metal handrail.  Again, there is a Sides person in attendance and available to assist if required.
The seating in the nave of the Church itself is of Victorian wooden pews.  The main aisle is of sufficient width to allow wheelchairs to be placed at the end of a row of pews.   Plans are being prepared for Disabled Toilet facilities to be installed as soon as finance is available.

The Church is fitted with an induction loop system for the benefit of hearing aid users.  A public address system is used for all services. There are large print service books available from the Sides persons.
At various times during services the presiding minister will invite the congregation to stand. You are most welcome to remain seated if this is more comfortable for you or is necessary in your circumstances.  There are two steps up to the main altar and they have handrails fitted to both sides.  There is no edge marking.  Someone who may find this difficult to see may find an escort useful.  A Sides person will be pleased to assist.  It is our practice to bring the bread and wine of Holy Communion to anyone who may prefer this because of difficulty in climbing the chancel steps or for other practical reasons.  Please let a Sides person know if this would be useful to you

Parish Room Letting

Any application to use the Parish Room facility for Community Groups or private family events must be made in writing via the Application Form to the Vicar and is subject to the Terms and Conditions and restrictions of the St. John’s Letting Policy, which can be obtained from the Vicar or Parish Church Council.  The Church retains the right to refuse such application, if for example, it is a political party with extremist views, or its use would not be appropriate in a place of worship.
A charge of £16 per hour for the hire of the Parish Room is made for non-church run organizations.  No charge is made for church groups use of the facility.

Conclusion

We hope that you will have found this statement to be of help.
Any future changes to this Statement will result in a new Statement being published.
We would welcome practical solutions for improvement both to the Church and Parish Room.
Please contact either the Priest-in-Charge or the Parish Church Council for any further information.

Rev.Shirley Devine
The Parochial Church Council
September 2016