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Motherwell Church Launches Deaf Services Pilot

Monday April 18

The trial service in January, with Dalziel St Andrew's minister the Rev Derek Hughes, BSL interpretation and electronic notetaking.

A Motherwell church is beginning a year’s pilot project aimed at making its worship accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

From May, Dalziel St Andrew’s Church will incorporate both British Sign Language (BSL) interpretation and electronic notetaking, projected on to screens in the sanctuary, at Sunday worship. In addition, the services will be streamed live on the internet, with both the signing and text from the notetaking visible.

The year’s trial follows a successful experiment on January 10 which received very positive feedback.

Dalziel St Andrew’s has been at the forefront of efforts in the Church of Scotland to meet the needs of the deaf or hard of hearing – estimated at one in six of the population.

With support from the Rev Richard Durno of the John Ross Memorial Church for Deaf People in Glasgow, and the Rev Rosie Addis of Albany Deaf Church in Edinburgh (and Deaf Development Worker, based at the Church of Scotland offices in Edinburgh), a seminar called ‘Reach Out and Listen’ was held in early 2015 to at the church to ask representatives of the deaf community how best to tackle the challenge of providing a meaningful worship experience for them. The services developed from suggestions received at the conference.

The church is currently seeking funding for the technical upgrades and also the costs of BSL interpreters and electronic notetakers.

The minister at Dalziel St Andrews, the Rev Derek Hughes, said: “When Jesus commanded His followers to share the Gospel message with all, He meant ALL. For me, this says that no-one should be left out. And, that is precisely what has led to such an important project in our congregation. Irrespective of challenges some face with their hearing, every man, woman and child deserves to ‘hear’ the Good News about Christ and His love.”

You can watch the services live on the church website at http://www.dalzielstandrews.org.uk/watch-live/ or ‘catch up’ on their YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/dalzielstandrews 


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