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Snuffing out exclusion in the local church

Sarah is the ‘chief candle snuffer’ at her local church, Wiggenhall St Germans Parish Church, Norfolk.Photo of Sarah at her church giving the Luke 5 award to her two Churchwardens, Carolyn Cast and Angie Yeoman, with her mum Lesley who helped her to make the nomination.

Sarah used to feel a bit left out at church:  “I have Down’s Syndrome and severe hearing loss… as I do things slowly people don’t always know how to talk to me … I felt excluded because everyone had a job, and I didn’t, even though I wanted to help.”

What changed?

Things changed earlier this year when Sarah’s Churchwardens, Angie and Carolyn, spoke to Sarah to try to help. [Picture from left to right: Lesley (Sarah’s Mum), Angie , Sarah, Carolyn].

“Angie and Carolyn asked me if there was anything I would like to do as they wanted to include me. I am the ‘chief snuffer’, I snuff out the candles after the service. I also read the Bible lesson sometimes, I like to do this. I am also part of the washing up team, we have a lot of fun while doing jobs.”

Sarah was so pleased about having these roles in her church that she and her mum Lesley nominated Churchwardens Angie and Carolyn for a Luke 5 Award from Christian disability inclusion charity Through the Roof. The award certificate was presented in the Harvest festival on Sunday 18 September.

Annette Stuart from Through the Roof said: “It’s essential that every church and community not only serves disabled people, but also listens to and encourages everyone to serve in a role themselves.”

Luke 5 Award celebrating Christian disability inclusion

  • To find out more about the Luke 5 Award celebrating Christian disability inclusion, and how your local church could help, visit



  • Through the Roof trains and equips churches and other organisations to be inclusive of people with any disability. It publishes resource material, runs short term overseas missions, distributes refurbished wheelchairs in developing countries and runs accessible holidays, among other programmes. We make the Christian gospel accessible to everyone affected by disability – disabled people and their families.
  • For more information please contact: Annette Stuart ( Please visit for information, news and resources
  • Through the Roof Charitable Trust Ltd. Is a UK Registered Company number 04201510 with offices at Alpha House, Alpha Place, Garth Road, Morden, Surrey, SM4 4TQ. It is also a Registered Charity Number 1087788.
Page last updated: Friday 7th October 2022 3:17 PM
First published on: 7th October 2022
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