In the February edition of The Coracle, we published the story of how the Reverend Elaine Munday – whose ‘day job’ is working with children who have special educational needs – had set up monthly services at St Petroc’s in Bodmin for people with a learning disability, together with their families and friends.

These services have gone from strength to strength and there is a special Easter Celebration planned for Sunday 8 April at 4pm to which everyone is welcome.

On her journey towards ordination, Helen became convinced that the church – that’s all of us – need to reach out more positively towards people with a learning disability; a conviction enhanced when, during her final year placement, she investigated prevailing attitudes. Whilst individuals were welcomed if they came to church, she found little active effort to support and involve them.

The person might need support to get to church. They would attend church with a family member, or if a staff member of their care home, a church-goer themselves, took them. However, when that support was not there, the church did not see a responsibility at even this basic level to provide this first step to full access – as they might, for example, with an elderly person.

A greater concern was to find that the churches sometimes found it difficult to accept that a person with a learning disability can have faith; although, just as with any other person, they needed assistance in learning about – and developing – that faith.

The first step was a ‘Carol and Cake’ service just before Christmas – through the music of familiar carols, pictures projected on the screen, the Christmas story was told simply but with dignity, and presented clearly the Christmas message. This was followed in February with a service on the theme of ‘Love’.

Elaine is keen to hear from others who share her concerns and anyone interested in this ministry is welcome at her services. For more details call 01208 77945 or e-mail