New service for deaf Christians and friends launched at Christ Church, Pellon

Deaf Christians and hearing friends have launched a new service led entirely in British Sign Language, but translated and voiced into English for hearing people.

There was a good turnout at the first event held at Christ Church, Pellon, Halifax, which will now be repeated on the second Sunday evening of every month.

Vicar, Revd John Hellewell said: "The first service was fantastic! There was a great sense of togetherness and fun, and we can't wait till the next one.

"It's been a real joy having deaf members as an important part of our congregation.


"It's great that they are now taking a lead in designing a regular service that meets their needs whilst building links with the hearing members."


Congregation member Lynn Lawson, who signs at Christ Church helped organise the new service and said:


“Deaf and hearing cultures are very different, not only in the language that they use is different - but to God we are all His children; that being the case we can all worship together in any language spoken or visual.


“The Deaf Church Group decided to make use of the Second Sunday evening service and lead the worship in BSL (British Sign Language) and in a culturally deaf way, rather than a hearing service with an interpreter.


“The result was the wonderful service on 10th February at Christ Church.

"It was attended by about 30 people, about ten of whom are deaf, and the rest being people who can sign or are interested in signing or just interested in a different style of worship.


“Signed songs, interpreted songs, readings in BSL, prayers in groups relevant to the people and an interactive sermon.


“All the words (songs and bible readings) are on a screen, you can’t use BSL with a book in your hands and also this is accessible for hard of hearing people.


“The seating is in a semi-circle or a horse shoe, this means everyone can see each other and discussions in BSL can be seen and interpreted easily."

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