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Film reveals worship needs

 A TEAM of believers with learning difficulties last week premired life-changing film, Faith in Practice, at the Globe Theatre in LondonThe film challenges faith leaders in the UK to ensure that the rights obelievers with learning difficulties are taken seriously. It shows iparticular how important worship is for them.At the launch of the film, Professor John Swinton, who trained imental-health care, said the work the team had done "will change peoples live. The religious needs of people with learning difficulties were finally beinnoticed, he said. "There are huge differences between religious traditions, but we all believthat religion is fundamentally important."But Richard West, who co-chairs the National Advisory Group for LearninDisabilities and Ethnicity, said that, despite the legislation, people were nodoing enough."Its no use asking people what they want: they must actually do it. Frohigh government down to the local charities, they have a duty to do somethingPeople in church have no excuse not to," he said.Pat was a consultant for the film. She attends a house church where, shsaid, the people were very good; but sometimes she felt they did not want heto be herself. "I cant sit still in one place: I think thats what they donlike."Responding to one critic who worried that people with learning difficultiecould be exploited, Pat said: "Everybody is going about their business outhere and they have no time. Life is so quick for people and anybody who ifeeling very, very lonely. It would be easy to get pulled in. "But what about people who cant communicate their faith, but who wansomething spiritual in their lives? If the Foundation for People with LearninDifficulties got the money to do this for people who dont use a spokelanguage, that would be fantastic."The Foundations co-director, Hazel Morgan, said people with learnindifficulties rarely got the support they needed to fulfil their spirituaneeds. "We hope this film will encourage faith communities to involve themore."Faith in Practice: DVD costs 12.50, but is free to people with learnindifficulties and family carers; phone 020 7803 1100

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