On 15th March 2017, Baroness Deech asked Her Majesty’s Government ‘what plans they have to improve accessibility for disabled people to public premises.’ The Bishop of Chester, Rt Revd Peter Forster, asked a follow up question on church buildings.
The Lord Bishop of Chester: My Lords, the noble Lord who asked the previous question did not include churches—and with good reason because there have been herculean efforts across the estate involving quite difficult church buildings to make them accessible to people with limited ability to get up steps and so forth. Will the Minister join me in paying tribute to the local efforts, normally paid for locally, which have transformed the access to historic churches?Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth: My Lords, I thank the right reverend Prelate for that contribution. Certainly, in my experience of visiting churches and cathedrals in England, that is very much the case. I am visiting cathedrals in Carlisle, Newcastle and Durham over the next two days, so I will be looking to see that they, too, are following the practice that has been pretty near universal in my experience over the past nine months of visiting them.