Reading Deaf Church’s leadership team Phil Creighton
Meet the church that is all signs and wonders.
St Mark’s Church in Reading meets on the first Sunday of each month and is specifically aimed at deaf people. The entire service is signed and includes hymns, a sermon and Bible readings – all in British Sign Language.
I visited on Sunday, July 6 and found a very warm welcome was extended to me. The service was led by The Revd Roger Williams, the church’s chaplain, and lay minister Anna Knaggs.
They took it in turns to sign liturgy, also mouthing words so that lip readers can follow the service.
Two hymns were signed, not sung: Dear Lord and Father of Mankind and I Heard The Voice of Jesus Say. It was incredibly moving to see such familiar words signed in worship, rather than sung to traditional tunes.
All the aspects of a spoken church service are present and correct – just signed.
Even the sermon, signed by Ken Dyson, was peppered with signed jokes. Tony Evans also signed readings from the Bible and the congregation shared The Peace (walking round the congregation saying Peace Be With You and shaking hands) again through sign language.
Afterwards there is, like all good churches, tea and biscuits and a chance to have a natter … signed, of course.
The church meets at Reading Deaf Centre on the first Sunday from 10.30am and everyone is welcome – as you can see from the video welcome signed by Ken.
To find out more, log on to its website
The Oxford Diocesan Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has its own website, and contains details of other deaf chuches in the Thames Valley area.
Last modified on Monday, 07 July 2014 13:55