The diocese is committed to providing support for those who use British Sign Language as their first language. There are a number of churches across the diocese who provide BSL support during regular worship. The support is provided by Deaf Ministry Teams who are volunteers from within the congregation with various BSL qualifications.
In addition to the support across hearing congregations there is a monthly Deaf-led service held at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Farnborough.
Provision in other Christian places of worship across Guildford Diocese:
Guildford Baptist Church, Millmead Centre, Bury Fields, Guildford GU2 4AZ
Contact www.guildfordbaptist.org for more details
Merland Rise Church, Merland Rise, Tadworth KT20 5JG
Most Services - Every Sunday
Baptisms, weddings and funerals requiring communication support
All churches within Guildford Diocese have access to qualified sign language interpreters who have experience in a Christian context. There are also agencies who provide speech to text support, lipspeakers and note-takers, which may be more appropriate than sign language interpreters.
The diocese has some equipment which can be demonstrated and in some circumstances loaned out. These include small room loops, large room loop, portable counter / reception loop, small meeting loop kits.
Please contact Tracey for advice, communication support details (i.e. interpreters) and for the loan of assistive listening devices (if required).
How can we support your parish?
By offering support and guidance to churches, together we can help improve the support for those with hearing, visual and sensory impairments for the people in the Diocese regardless of faith or none. Please see our flyer for more info: Sensory Inclusion Adviser
The sensory inclusion officer's work includes:
- Holding talks, workshops, training and seminars for churches, voluntary groups and individuals on a range of sensory impairment topics
- The demonstration and loaning out of assistive listening device resources
- Signposting to communication support (e.g. BSL interpreters or speech-to-text) and other support organisations
- Assessment/testing of loop systems and signposting to professional installation services and equipment providers
If you would like to discuss any of these issues or are interested in attending a training session or hosting an event, please contact Tracey.
Our Deaf Awareness booklet also gives practical suggestions to better enable the inclusion of both Deaf people, and people with hearing impairments.
The Hear Here! project - an initiative in the diocese to support those with hearing loss. Training sessions to become a Hearing Champion can be found on the events page https://www.cofeguildford.org.uk/whats-on/events.
Hearing Aid Drop in Clinics are held around the Diocese click here for details
Read My Lips – Currently classes are held at Bletchingley, Godalming and Leatherhead. Classes are run over a 10 week period each school term. You can join a class at any point subject to space, some classes are still accepting new students. The current term will finish week commencing 19th March and all classes are accepting new students (fees will be adjusted to reflect the later start). Please contact Tracey for more details and/or to register your interest.
Together We See
- In the UK, there are almost 2 million people living with sight loss. Of these, around 360,000 are registered as blind or partially sighted. Together We See is a new project which aims to equip parishes to support people living with a sight impairment. The project starts by offering an awareness session during which there will be demonstrations of everyday tasks using simulation spectacles to help you get a feeling of being visually impaired. To book a session or find out more, contact Tracey.
Tracey is a trained BSL communicator (qualified to NVQ level 3) and holds Visual Impairment qualifications in Low Vision, Orientation & Mobility and Rehabilitation. Tracey has been involved with the deaf, deafened and hard of hearing community for over 20 years and has a real commitment to helping those with sensory loss.
Sensory Inclusion General Leaflet