Amalgamated groups as an inclusion strategy: An empirical study of how people with learning disabilities experience belonging in a local church

  • Judith Woodall

Student thesis: Unknown


Through this research I seek to address issues concerning the experience of belonging for people with learning disabilities in a local church community. I propose that amalgamated group activities could be an effective strategy in helping towards their inclusion and acceptance. Amalgamated groups should include two or more different social groups interacting together. People with learning disabilities are often left out of academic and ecclesiological conversations with their family or carers being consulted on their behalf. However, through this empirical study a group of people with learning disabilities have been allowed an opportunity to have a voice concerning their own experiences and worldviews. They reveal a desire for friendship and value opportunities to regularly share meals together with other groups of people. The participants also show how they want to be involved and have a role in the church activities with some having their own ideas about what they would like to do. Key themes and subjects which emerge in the data such as hospitality, friendship, and belonging are reflected on theologically using scriptural texts and resources primarily in disability theology. Additionally, to improve my understanding I have utilised some social science perspectives.
Date of Award31 Dec 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester


  • learning disabilities
  • hospitality
  • belonging
  • friendship

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