Deaf Community

The Deaf Community is made up of a wide range of people, of all ages and with different experiences of hearing and sensory loss. Those who identify as being members of the Deaf community claim a unique culture, drawn from a shared experience of Deafness and a shared language - British Sign Language (BSL). There are innumerable barriers for Deaf people, mainly due to communication and lack of awareness on the part of the majority hearing society.

Changes in societInterpreting at Downham Market Methodisty have had an impact on Deaf people. Improvements in technology and the Equalities Act of 2010 for example, have improved access and given different ways to communicate. However, Deaf and Deafblind people who wish to be part of the Church still have many barriers because  so much of church life and worship centers on the spoken word. From the mainstream Church perspective, Deaf people who use BSL have been   an invisible and forgotten minority.

One way to provide access is to have interpreters signing the service - as shown in this photo from Downham Market Methodist Church, where the service is interpreted once a month. 

Another option is to have events specifically  organised by and for Deaf people, using BSL as the language of choice. 

Sign the crossThe District has set up a ministry to respond to the needs of the Deaf Community under the name 'Sign the Cross'. It has been set up as a new form of Church, based in the Central Norfolk circuit, with Rev Anne Richardson as the Minister.  ‘Sign the Cross’ seeks to work ecumenically where possible. There are regular church services in Norwich and elsewhere there are Deaf fellowship groups, and links with Deaf Christians in neighbouring Dioceses.For more information, to find out about interpreted services and Deaf-friendly events, email Rev Anne directly.


The Experience of Deaf/BSL users in the church

The Beds, Essex and Hert's district's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Rev Andrew Brazier, interviewed members of Norwich Deaf Church in a special online event, 'Sound Off?' To view a recording of this event, please click on the video link below. 

Contact Info

(Please contact Danielle Gravestock/The District Office only for matters that relate to the Methodist District. For Local Church or Circuit matters please contact the people on the individual Circuit and Church pages.)

01603 625765

Danielle Gravestock

The District Office
Chapel Field Road Methodist Church

About Us

Registered Charity Number 1129451

Our Privacy Notice can be found by clicking here.