Why is Agape a deaf friendly church?

We are a deaf friendly church because we aim to include deaf friends completely in the life and worship of the church. We provide sign language (equivalent CACDP Level 2) at our services and one of the Cell Group meetings because it is our desire that those who are deaf should have the same access to God’s word as hearing people and the same opportunity to meet with Jesus and grow in their Christian lives. Many church people have had great fun learning some sign language and communicating with our deaf friends. We are able to meet people’s needs by meeting with friends in their own homes in order to talk about Jesus and look at what the Bible says, or to include them in the church Cell Groups. Deaf and hearing folk share in social activities and those who can hear have learnt much about deafness and sign language from those who can’t hear during these fun times together.

What activities has Agape held?

Deaf and hearing folk are welcome at all Agape’s activities as well as the Sunday services. Hearing people have particularly enjoyed sign language classes where we had fun learning how to chat about every day things in sign language. We also had a sign language quiz evening when all the clues were given in sign language – a real test of all that we had learnt in the classes! The time after the Sunday morning service when we chat and have coffee together is a real opportunity for learning to communicate with each other.

Some comments from church members:

“Signing worship songs has enhanced my Christianity and my worship”

“We had a good laugh!”

“Learning sign language has helped me to appreciate the problems that the deaf have in communicating with hearing people”

“Learning sign language opened my eyes to a different way of communicating and a different culture”

“Learning sign language helped me to communicate better with my deaf friends. I am now able to develop conversations beyond just saying “how are you?”

“I realised that sign language is a complete language in its own right with it’s own grammar, idioms and humour etc.”

“Sign language classes acted as a refresher for signs I had learned before but forgotten – I now have confidence to use the signs I know”

“Signing worship songs enabled us all to worship together in the same way, so was a great leveller”