>Churches can be very exclusive. A mother of a young man with severe communicational difficulties has her story told by Swinton and Mowatt:
We have a lot of young people in our church … but I never see any of the young people getting alongside George. None of theem ever sit beside him in church … none of them have invited him roun to their homes … and as a parent carer I find that difficult. I see them maybe going off for lunch or whatever and george is going home with his mum and dad and I just think how he has missed out on social interaction in his teenage years. In fact I could tell a little story:
A couple of years back one of the teenage girls who was having her 16th birthday and after the church service all the young people were going back to her house for a birthday dinner and afternoon. You know we had sung happy birthday to her in the church and the word had got round that you know the party was on and so forth. But of course, George wasn’t invited and so as we drove off from the church we just felt saddened that it was just again another example of exclusion and just how painful that was to us. Not knowing how George felt about that. We came home. We had our usual Sunday lunch… I went through to his bedroom later on in the afternoon and he was cutting up bits of paper, and I said to him, “What’s this you’re doing George?” And he said “I’m making up tickets for the party”.
What a story! We perhaps try to be inclusive but finish up excluding. We don’t know how exclusive we are until we hear stories like this. Makes you think. Does it make you change?