Welcome to Signs for Worship Walsall!
Inspired by ‘Signs for Worship Tamworth’, the aim of the group is to bring together both Deaf and hearing people through the medium of British Sign Language in to a closer relationship with God and each other, as in the words of Psalm 133, How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity.
All are welcome, no matter what level of signing you have, be that none all the way through to native user. All meetings will be in both BSL and English and all are welcome to participate in both languages. We are also open to everyone, whatever background or faith – we do not pressurise anyone to become a Christian – we simply offer a safe place to ‘be’. There are members who do not sign, but want to be in a friendly, vibrant community environment where all are respected and valued.
Meetings are very informal, and everyone is encouraged to ‘have a go’ at either leading a meeting, choosing songs, interpreting/signing songs, or interpreting meetings in to BSL/English. There is support for all – no one is left ‘in the lurch’ – and it’s a great place to gain experience and grow in confidence. The range of songs and hymns is extensive, and we aim to translate in to BSL rather than SSE (sign supported English) if at all possible – some songs are harder than others, and we savour a challenge!
It’s completely free to attend – we welcome donations towards refreshments, but there is absolutely no obligation to give. For refreshments we have tea, coffee, squash, biscuits and……..CAKE!!!! (yes, we are addicted to cake…we also have some gluten free cake as well!)
We meet on Friday evenings at 7.45pm at St Matthew’s Church Centre, Church Hill, Walsall, West Midlands WS1 3DG. There’s plenty of parking, and there’s disable access to all areas of the centre, whatever room we meet in. We are proud to be part of the St Matthew’s Church Community, and we are grateful for the support and help we have had from both the church and the centre management that’s enabled us to thrive and spread our message.
Sometimes we may meet in St Matthews Church itself if the centre is unavailable – notice will be given of such changes on here and on our Facebook Group.
We also visit churches to lead either worship or the whole service – with a talk, an introduction to Deaf Awareness and BSL, teaching how to sign a song, and full interpretation. We also interpret church services and Christian public events, and take part in community events, where we sign pop and rock songs in addition to our usual repertoire, ‘Want to Break Free’, ‘Roar’ and ‘Let it Go’ being amongst our favourites. At Christmas we visit shops and sign Christmas Carols, and we have a special Christmas service, ending traditionally with a crazy signed version of ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ which always ends in chaos!
If you’d like a go at signing songs at home, we do have videos on YouTube. We welcome feedback – we never claim that our interpretations are the only ones – there’s always room for improvement.
Hope to see you soon!
Colin Townsend – founder, Signs for Worship Walsall.