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Over the next five years, Beyond Words’ Challenge 500 initiative will equip, resource, train and support 500 churches to include and engage with people with learning disabilities.

We want to work with churches of all types and denominations across the UK. Our aim is to build an integrated community where all gifts are welcome, and everyone feels encouraged and empowered.

The Challenge 500 initiative aims to

  • Create environments where individuals with learning disabilities feel safe to share their story and faith, avoiding isolation and poor mental health. 
  • Set up 500 book clubs, home groups or café church style groups in parishes across the UK, where people with learning disabilities are supported to have meaningful interactions and build new relationships.
  • Provide a meeting point for people of all abilities which benefits the wellbeing of all involved. By providing a space for people to enjoy the books together, people will enjoy each other’s stories and enter into each other’s lives. 
  • Lift people with learning disabilities out of isolating situations, preventing social withdrawal. People with learning disabilities will feel more deeply involved in their church community. People in parishes will feel more confident when communicating and interacting with people of all abilities, ensuring full and authentic participation. The mental wellbeing and dignity of every participant will be improved.

How you can get involved

We are looking for:

  • partners to develop and pilot our faith community resources
  • funders to help us build capacity and a sustainable roll-out model
  • churches across all denominations and styles to join us on this exciting journey

If you’d like to find out more about getting involved, please email