Let the word of Christ in all its richness find a home in you.
Welcome to the Brentwood Diocesan Pastoral Deaf Service. Led by Sr Margaret Duffy, it aims to support Catholics who are deaf or hard of hearing to play a full role in the life of the Church.
Aims of the Service:
- To break open the Word of God to deaf and hard of hearing people;
- To enable clergy to understand the special problems associated with deafness and respond positively and confidently;
- To help parents share their faith with their children.
- Signed Masses, both regular monthly Masses at St Mary and St Ethelburga, Barking and other Masses arranged in different parishes around the Diocese;
- Sacramental preparation or communication support as required;
- Communication at weddings, funerals, etc;
- Faith development;
- On-going catechesis.
- Deaf families;
- Deaf children of hearing parents; (90% of deaf children are born to hearing parents with no experience of deafness.)
- Deaf parents of hearing children.
In addition to this, the Brentwood Deaf Service organises or participates in several regular events, such as the annual Walsingham pilgrimage and events organised by the Catholic Deaf Association. Communication is offered at major diocesan celebrations. Training in liturgical signing for those who are deaf and wish to develop their skills as well as for people who are hearing, with the aim that these people will then be able to communicate for people who are deaf in their own parish, is provided. Training is also offered to priests to develop their signing skills. There are signing groups and deaf awareness sessions.
Some practical steps for everyone to improve access for deaf and hard of hearing people:
- Loop system used by all addressing the congregation;
- Good lighting on the faces of all addressing the congregation;
- Mouth clearly visible;
- Hymn numbers clearly displayed;
- Clarity of language in the newsletter;
- Notes on the homily.
Some creative ways to involve deaf people:
- Eucharistic ministers
- Welcome ministry
- Altar servers
If you wish, Sister Margaret can visit you in your home to support you. Her contact details are below:
Brentwood Diocesan Pastoral Deaf Service
803 Chigwell Road
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8504 0406
Mob: +44 (0) 7989 129091