Schools across Essex are busy rehearsing for the annual carol service for Deaf and DeafBlind people to be held at Chelmsford Cathedral on Friday 9th December.
The congregation will enjoy signed carols by pupils from local schools including Sweyne Park and Market Field, along with a nativity pageant by Corbets Tey. The service will also feature signed readings from members of the local Deaf Community and ‘Silent Night’ signed by members of the Life Skills Group led by Royal Association by Deaf people.
The pupils at Sweyne Park School in Rayleigh are very much looking forward to the event, explains Joy Jacob, Head of Resource Base:
“The Chelmsford Cathedral signed Christmas carol service is an important event on the calendar for Sweyne Park pupils as it brings them together with family and distant friends to celebrate this important time of year. Along with other Deaf pupils from across Essex, they are able to showcase their incredible skills and talent as they perform signed carols for one another and the wider Deaf community.”
The Carol Service is also of special importance to pupils at Market Field School in Elmstead Market as Penny Wilsher explains:
“Market Field School has always encouraged our students and staff to sign, as we feel communication is one of life’s most important tools. The Carol Service for Deaf and Deafblind People is the real start to Christmas for our students who attend; it is truly uplifting and joyful!”
Held in partnership with Royal Association for Deaf people, the Diocese of Chelmsford and the diocesan team of Chaplains among Deaf people, the service begins at 10.30am (doors will open at 10am and the congregation must be seated by 10.20am)
The service will be conducted in British Sign Language with interpretation into English and Lipspeakers provided by RAD’s interpreting team. After the service, the congregation is invited to enjoy refreshments in the Cathedral.
This year, the Royal Association for Deaf people celebrate 175 years of delivering services for Deaf people. Dr Jan Sheldon, Chief Executive says, ‘We deliver the services Deaf people want and need; children who attend the carol service grow up knowing there is an organisation there to support them. We are proud to be that organisation.”
Photo: Pupils at Sweyne Park School rehearsing ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’