HEBA Symposium, March 2022 – Disability, Friendship and Inclusion

Rev Dr Martin Hobgen (pictured) led our symposium. He explored  the nature of disability, and how disabled people may be excluded. He described some helpful theological approaches to understanding disability and finally, explored a proposal for a way to foster the participatory inclusion of disabled people in Baptist church communities.

There were three sessions, each followed by discussions in ‘breakout rooms’. The text of his talks, with bibliography and discussion questions are below.

Martin Hobgen


Who is the Stranger? A Practical Theology of Hospitality and Friendship

What does hospitality mean in the context of disability?
What does it mean to be a guest in the home of someone with a disability … “one of the tendencies always in relation to disability is that people tend to assume the role of host… “

“…so each time we encounter one another we encounter something of God. So in that sense, every meeting is a holy meeting, every body is a holy place….”

John Swinton: Theology and Disability

The theology of disability really begins by asking a question. What does it mean to be disabled , sometimes profoundly disabled, to be made in God’s image, to be fully human and to be beautiful just the way you are, without having to change anything.

… “Moses has a really terrible speech impediment and God says ‘listen, I’ve got a big job for you here’… What God doesn’t do is say ‘Oh hold on a second, I’m going to heal your speech impediment and then you can go off and do your vocation’… He says ‘I will send people to help you, but nothing of you is going to change’”


Sightless-Friendly Churches

Guideline Leaflet L12: Churches and Disability Issues

Disability Awareness Dates

International Disability Awareness Day - Sunday 17 July 2022 

Baptist Union of Great Britain- Disability Justice

BMJ Special Issue on Disability
With articles by Martin Hobgen, Susan Myatt, Glen Graham and others.

Silenced: The Hidden Story of Disabled Britain

Disability and COVID-19 – death rate

Resources For Autism Facebook Page


Nancy Eisland, The Disabled God John Hull, In the Beginning There was Darkness

John Hull, Disability: The inclusive church resource.